November 9, 2021

  Two Traverse City Organizations 
Partnering to Present
Important Conversations about Immigration
and the Global Refugee Crisis
Two leading Traverse City organizations have teamed up to present discussions and conversations about an important topic around the world as well as here in northern Michigan: immigration and the global refugee crisis. 

The International Affairs Forum of Traverse City, alongside the National Writers Series, are hosting two events next week featuring authorities in the field. 
  First, on Tuesday, November 16th:
Ambassador Anthony Wayne joins the IAF to discuss the economic drivers, international policies, drug trafficking, and endemic corruption that motivate mass migration from Central America’s Northern Triangle to Mexico and the U.S.  After four decades of diplomatic service, Wayne, who served as the ambassador to Mexico between 2011-15, is well-positioned to illuminate these dynamics for our audience. 
  Next, on Thursday, November 18th:
The NWS hosts a conversation with bestselling author Omar El Akkad about his newest book, What Strange Paradise, which looks at the global refugee crisis through the lens of children. As an international journalist, El Akkad has reported from Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, and many other locations around the world, and brings his experience to the page in a book that the New York Times says “deserves to be an instant classic.” 

These two organizations are proud to partner on these events which will highlight the ways that international stories and circumstances have a local impact, and how global policies impact the lives of real people right here in northern Michigan. 
Event Details: 
Ambassador Wayne will connect remotely for a live/virtual hybrid presentation at the City Opera House at 7 pm ET, which will include a Q&A session. The general public can purchase in-person or livestream tickets for the discussion at the International Affairs Forum’s website. IAF members receive access as part of their annual membership.

The virtual NWS event will feature guest host Nargis Hakim Rahman, an award-winning Bangladeshi American Muslim writer who also works as a reporter at WDET 101.9 FM. Tickets for Omar El Akkad’s appearance are available on the National Writers Series website. This is a virtual event that will take place over Zoom; attendees will be sent a link at registration.
Media Contacts Media interested in requesting a copy of the What Strange Paradise or in scheduling an interview with Omar El Akkad are invited to connect directly with Gabrielle Brooks or Demetris Papadimitropoulos at Penguin Random House.
About the International Affairs Forum of Traverse City
The International Affairs Forum at Northwestern Michigan College is committed to being a leading community resource on critical issues facing the world and seeks to advance the community’s understanding of global affairs through education and public dialogue.

IAF is a program of Northwestern Michigan College and an affiliate of the World Affairs Councils of America, an independent, non-partisan organization dedicated to engaging the public and leading global voices. The network includes more than 90 councils in more than 40 states. 

For 28 years, thousands of patrons, members, students, and community members have participated in and benefitted from IAF programming and outreach. The organization works with area schools and supports initiatives like Academic WorldQuest™ to help today’s students build awareness of global affairs. IAF lectures are free to current students and educators.

IAF programming is made possible in part by its member donors. Visit to learn more.
About the National Writers Series
The National Writers Series is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging world-renowned authors in meaningful conversations. Founded in 2010 by reporter Anne Stanton, New York Times bestselling author Doug Stanton, and attorney Grant Parsons, NWS has hosted nearly 200 authors including luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Alice Walker, Mary Doria Russell, Scott Turow, and Gillian Flynn.

Over 70,000 people have attended our events throughout the years, and we’ve helped sell over 18,000 books through local bookstores. Our live events take place at the historic City Opera House in Traverse City, while our virtual events are available around the world via Zoom or YouTube live-streaming.

Our author events fuel our Raising Writers programs, which help students express themselves, explore the world through reading, develop their imaginations, and think critically. Learn more at

Our Fall 2021 event lineup concludes with the following amazing writers: November 18: Omar El Akkad (Virtual)  December 9: Angeline Boulley (In-Person) Our Winter 2022 season announcement will be coming soon!