MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2017
Rasha grew up between Damascus and rural south Georgia and cut her teeth organizing on the southsides of Chicago and Atlanta. She is a member of the Radius of Arab American Writers and Alternate ROOTS. In 2016, she was a finalist for Split This Rock's poetry contest. Her work appears in Mslexia, Mizna, Tiny Tim Literary Review, and at sinnerscreek.com. She is a contributor to two forthcoming anthologies on Arab American Aesthetics (Routledge 2017/2018) and Letters to Octavia E. Butler (Twelfth Planet Press 2017). She manages one of the oldest used/rare bookstores in Washington D.C.
"As a young queer woman, I grew up between a Palestinian Muslim family in Damascus and a Scots-Irish Cherokee Baptist family in rural south Georgia. I am a cultural worker, educator, community technologist, and once and future farmer and beekeeper, as well as a member of Alternate ROOTS and the Radius of Arab American Writers. My work is a commitment to bridging communities through the ways we remember, tell stories about, and recreate/remake our daily lives. I care about making technical knowledge and hands-on skills accessible for people of all ages-- with a strong emphasis on developing tools for self-sufficiency-- and often embed these principles in my creative work. My writing and visual art call on tradition as a cultural wealth from which communities can fashion new possibilities. My work, both creative and community-based, is a testament to my belief that embattled communities have the tools to seek liberation, cultivate compassion, and generate ideas to meet the environmental, economic, and human challenges thatface us all. My artistic work has ranged from theatrical performance to fiber arts, from graphic design to poetry. I'm currently living in Silver Spring, MD and working on short-form science fiction, poetry, and traditional Palestinian embroidery. My other current projects are a chapter on the indigenous and intergenerational feminist practice of tatreez (traditional Palestinian embroidery) in Arab American Aesthetics, forthcoming with Routledge Books and a cycle of poetry that contends with the legacy of my Palestinian father's passing the year before the revolutions of the Arab Spring."