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Pebbles, Pigeons, Prodigals – A Novel

Wednesday, March 8, 2023, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

After the 1998 Al Qaeda terror attack on the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi—Kenya’s capital—and the two-pronged 2002 attack on Israeli-owned Paradise Beach Resort on Kenya’s north coast, Kenya’s port city Mombasa was red-flagged a recruiting ground for youth radicalization when Fazul Abdullah Mohammed—presumed to be one of the U.S. Embassy and Paradise attack mastermindswas traced to Mombasa. The Paradise attack was simultaneous with an attempt to bring down—via surface-to-air missile—an Israeli Arkia Airlines Boeing 757 taken off from Mombasa International Airport.

This lecture will be an overview of Moraa Gitaa’s book project, a sociopolitical, metaphorical novel-in-progress, set in her hometown of Mombasa Island. The talk will focus—via the novel’s main character Yusra—on women and children who are often overlooked, their voices muted when interrogating the language of terrorism and extremism. This overview will center the militarization of the fight against terror, explore intersections of extrajudicial / extralegal actions, secession politics, homeland security, citizenship / identity politics, and impact of conflict on family when young people are lured into jihadism and terrorists’ questionable causes.