Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki: Dancing Into The Light


This episode of Big Blend Radio features acclaimed author Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki who discusses her compelling new memoir “Dancing Into the Light: An Arab-American Girlhood in the Middle East,” (She Writes Press, Sept. 5, 2023), that shares her multi-cultural coming-of-age story of belonging to two vastly different cultures, finding her place within both, and the search to find the inherent harmony in worlds at odds with each other.

Set against the backdrop of the early American presence in Iran under the Shah, and the burgeoning years of Kuwait’s early oil boom, “Dancing into the Light” is Kathryn’s memoir of growing up within both the expatriate Western communities and the larger Middle Eastern society of Kuwait and Jerusalem. She is already caught in both the joys of and the struggle to be both Arab and American, yet not fully either, when her young life of promise is disrupted by tragedy. But instead of derailing her life, her mother’s death opens the door to deeper love and support from other places within Kathryn’s family.


“Dancing into the Light” is a story of love, loss, and renewal, and of overcoming devastating early trauma through music, dancing, and the love and devotion of strong American and Arab women.


Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki was born in Washington D.C. to an Arab father and an American mother. She grew up in Iran, Kuwait, Beirut, and Jerusalem where she attended Arabic, British, and American schools. She attended the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, has a BA in journalism from George Washington University in Washington D.C., and an MA in creative writing from George Mason University, Virginia. As an astute observer of two distinct cultures, she has published five works of fiction, some of which have been taught at universities in multicultural literature, women’s studies, and Arab studies departments. She is the recipient of the Mary Roberts Rinehart Award for short fiction. Abdul-Baki has three grown children and resides with her husband in McLean, Virginia.


Find out more about her at www.KathrynAbdulbaki.com.


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About the Author:

Kathryn K. Abdul-Baki was born in Washington D.C. to an Arab father and an American mother.

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