Over 100 people attended the “Evening with Rawi Hage” at the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) on November 1st, 2013 at 07:00 p.m. The event was organized by the Lebanese Canadian Society of BC (LCS of BC), with the collaboration of the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) – BC Council and co-sponsored by The SFU Program in World Literature and The SFU Centre for the Comparative Study of Muslim Societies and Cultures.
Mr. John Badr the President of the WLCU-BC council opened the ceremony and welcomed the audience, followed by
Professor Ken Seigneurie who spoke on the “commitment to freedom” in Rawi’s characters and in his writing. Afterwards Rawi Hage gave a compelling lecture and read from “De Niro’s Game.” A lively period of questions and answers wrapped up the literary part of the evening.
The WLCU BC Council Youth Chapter, represented by Marc Ghanem and Melanie Kahwaji, expressed their pleasure at participating in the evening’s events and congratulated Rawi for his achievements, telling him: “You’re an inspiration to youth of all backgrounds, but especially to Lebanese youth, proving that with hard work anyone can reach their most ambitious goals. We’re very proud of how you represent our culture.”
Eng. Camille Louis, president of the LCS-BC, in his closing speech voiced the sentiments of the Lebanese Community by saying: “Having a Brilliant Lebanese Canadian Writer like you is making us so proud.”, Louis thanked the sponsors of the event and called for the award presentations.
The WLCU-BC Council, the LCS-BC, and the Youth Chapter each awarded Mr Hage an award for literary excellence and service to the world-wide Lebanese community.
After the awards presentation, Eng. Louis invited everyone to a reception. Attendees socialized and enjoyed Lebanese foods while, Mr Hage signed many of his books for a throng of well wishers.
We would like to acknowledge Nisrine jabbour who was the MC of the event as well to thanks Mr Patrick Rmeily and Nick kahwaji in helping with the book signing.
*Rawi Hage is a Lebanese-Canadian Writer and Photographer. Born in Beirut, Hage grew up in Lebanon and Cyprus. He moved to New York City in 1984. In 1991, he relocated to Montreal, where he studied Photography at Dawson College and Fine Arts at Concordia University. He subsequently began exhibiting as a photographer, and has had works acquired by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Canada’s capital. He holds an MFA from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). In addition to his work as a writer and a visual artist, Hage spent time as a cab driver in Montreal.
Hage has published journalism and fiction in several Canadian and American magazines, and in the PEN America Journal. His debut novel, De Niro’s Game (2006), won the 2008 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the most lucrative literary prize in the world for a single novel, and was shortlisted for the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2006 Governor General’s Award for English fiction. Commenting on their selection, the IMPAC judges remarked that “its originality, its power, its lyricism, as well as its humane appeal all mark De Niro’s Game as the work of a major literary talent and make Rawi Hage a truly deserving winner.” De Niro’s Game was also awarded two Quebec awards, the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the McAuslan First Book Prize
His second novel, Cockroach, was published in 2008 and was also shortlisted for the Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. He was the winner of the Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction in 2008 and 2012 for his books Cockroach and Carnival, respectively.
In August 2013, he was named Vancouver Public Library’s ninth Writer In Residence.