Alif Institute - Atlanta Georgia

Upcoming Programs

Night of Moroccan Delights

Alif Institute proudly presents...

A Night of Moroccan DelightsPicture1

SUNDAY, MAY 31, 2015

5 pm - 8:30 pm


$25 for non-members/$22 for members

$12 for children 12 and under

Required: RSVP to by Friday, May 29th, 2015.


Let Alif Institute transport your entire family to Morocco for an evening of food, activities, stories, and music! Experience the rich culture of Morocco while you learn some new facts and make some new friends!

RSVP now to reserve your place and be sure to invite your friends!






Tawleh 3Are you a "Tawlet Zahr" fan? Or curious to learn how to play? 

Join the Backgammon Tournament, and explore this fun and engaging aspect of Arab culture!

Tournament starts on Saturday, February 28!
Games will run on Saturday mornings at 11am.

Registration is Open to All
Parents of Arabic language students, this is a great time to enjoy playing while your kids are in class!

Register by February 27
$20 per person

The winner will receive an exciting PRIZE!

BackgammonAbout the game: Backgammon is one of the oldest board games for two players. In Arabic the game is called “Tawlet El Zahr” or طاولة الزهر, which means “The Table of Dice”. This is a very popular game in the Middle-East, but becoming very trendy all over the world and over the internet. The playing pieces are moved according to the roll of dice, and a player wins by removing all of their pieces from the board before their opponent. Although luck is one of the determining factors in the outcome, strategy plays a more important role in the long run. The two types of play that will be included in this tournament are called “Franjya” or ‘Mahboussa”.

Detailed rules of the tournament and of each play will be presented on Saturday, February 28.


Calling all book lovers! Join Alif's NEW BOOK CLUB! 


We are excited to announce the formation of the Alif Book Club! Each month we will gather to discuss books of interest to our community members with guest speakers and authors. Books will be selected based upon interest, so please bring your suggestions!

Meetings will alternate day and evening times to accommodate different schedules.

All are welcome, even if you haven't finished the book. 

  UPCOMING BOOK Discussions:  

SEPTEMBER Book Club Meet: In the Country Of Men by Hisham Matar


countrymenTHURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 25 at 7:00 PM

Join our group for a lively discussion of this Arab American National Museum award-winning book Get your book today and join our book discussion on September 25!

 RSPV by Tuesday, September 23. Sandwich & Soda available for $5 with RSPV

(Photo by Dian Matar)

About the book: This breathtaking novel is set in the rarely glimpsed world of Qaddafi’s Libya. The only debut novel short-listed for The Man Booker Prize andThe Guardian First Book Prize, with rights already sold in 15 countries, In the Country of Menhas received extraordinary reviews in England. Called “Outstanding…A tender evocation of universal human conflicts” by The Observer and “Glowing with emotional truth…One of the most brilliant literary debuts of recent years,” by The Times of London, this novel provides an extraordinary window into Libya and hails the arrival of a remarkable young storyteller.

hishammatarIn the Country of Men  is the story of a young boy growing up in a terrifying and bewildering world where his best friend's father disappears and is next seen on state television at a public execution; where a mysterious man sits outside the house all day and asks strange questions; where his mother burns all their books when it seems his father has finally disappeared for good.  A stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare, this is the only novel of its kind on contemporary Libya.


About the author: Hisham Matar was born in 1970 in New York City to Libyan parents and spent his childhood in Tripoli and Cairo.  He lives in London and is currently at work on his second novel.

   PAST Meetings   

AUGUST Book Club Meet: In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong by Amin Maaloof

maaloufFriday, August 15, at 10:30am

RSPV by Wednesday, August 13.  Light refreshments will be served.

To order In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong, you can visit the book's Amazon page.

About the book:   In the Name of Identity is as close to summer reading as philosophy gets. It is a personal, sometimes even intimate, account of identity-in-the-world, not a treatise on the thorny metaphysics of identity. A novelist by trade, Amin Maalouf is a fluid writer, and he is aided by Barbara Bray's award-winning translation. His aim is to illuminate the roots of violence and hatred, which he sees in tribalistic forms of identity. He argues that our convictions and notions of identity--whether cultural, religious, national, or ethnic--are socially habituated and frequently dangerous. We'd give them up, he argues, if we thought more closely about them.Though the book has been heralded as radical and surprising, Maalouf essentially espouses an Enlightenment sensibility, a faith in the brotherhood of man. He is a believer in progress, arguing that "the wind of globalisation, while it could lead us to disaster, could also lead us to success." In fact, he envisions a globalized world in which our local identities are subordinated to a broader "allegiance to the human community itself." Maalouf wants us to retain our distinctiveness, but he wants it subsumed under the nave of common understanding. --Eric de Place (from Amazon)

June Book Club Meet: Sharon and My Mother-in-Law: Ramallah Diaries by   Suad Amiry

Saron motherinlaw Thursday June 26 at 7pm

RSPV by Tuesday, June 24. Sandwich & Soda available for $5 with RSPV

To order Sharon and My Mother-In-Law: Ramallah Diaries, you can visit the book's Amazon page.

About the book  Based on diaries and e-mail correspondence that architect Suad Amiry kept from 1981 to 2004,Sharon and My Mother-in-Law evokes the frustrations, cabin fever, and downright misery of daily life in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Amiry writes elegance and humor about the enormous difficulty of moving from one place to another, the torture of falling in love with someone from another town, the absurdity of her dog receiving a Jerusalem identity card when thousands of Palestinians could not, and the trials of having her ninety-two-year-old mother-in-law living in her house during a forty-two-day curfew. With a wickedly sharp ear for dialogue and a keen eye for detail, Amiry gives us an original, ironic, and firsthand glimpse into the absurdity — and agony — of life in the Occupied Territories. (From Amazon)

MAY Book Club Meet: COMMITTEE OF ONE  by Patricia Holt

committeeofoneFriday, June 6 at 10:30 am

ABOUT THE BOOK When I married a retired hydrologist, I had no idea how our travels to the Middle East would change my perspective. Initially interested in the fine crafts of the area, I was led to Leila Wahbeh. The day I met her was the day my life changed forever. Her story unfolds with her family’s flight from Jerusalem to Egypt in 1947 to avoid the terrors of the war with Israel, and their return four years later to find they had lost everything. Despite suffering terrible hardships and deprivations, Leila finishes school and marries a doctor. All goes well until the 1967 War. Her husband, because he renders aid to war victims, is deported, leaving Leila and their four children in Jerusalem as pawns for his good behavior and hers. Despite the probability of her own imprisonment, with circumstances weighed against her, she continues her crusade for the poor. Leila moves mountains of red tape in her efforts to transform the helpless into the helpful. You’ll meet, as I did during our stays, some of the people whose dignity and pride she has single-handedly restored: Um Rafila, born in a cave as her mother fled her village in 1948; Um X who cannot read or write but whose ten children will graduate from college; Um Ghassan, whose piecework provides the medical care needed by her dying pre-school daughter; and Mustafa, a young engineer, who is jailed for preventing renewed garbage dumping at the first cleared site for Leila’s new sanitation center in Baqa’a Camp. With unflagging energy and donations of money and materials, Leila helps her people to become self-sufficient. One family survives, then one hundred. As those one hundred educated families reach out to hundreds more, thousands of families cross the bridges built by a Committee of One. (From Amazon)

APRIL Book Club Meet: HOUSE OF STONE by Anthony Shadid

Thursday, April 10 at 7pm 

About the book: In the summer of 2006, racing through Lebanon to report on the Israeli invasion, Anthony Shadid found himself in his family’s ancestral hometown of Marjayoun. There, he discovered his great-grandfather’s once magnificent estate in near ruins, devastated by war. One year later, Shadid returned to Marjayoun, not to chronicle the violence, but to rebuild in its wake.

So begins the story of a battle-scarred home and a journalist’s wounded spirit, and of how reconstructing the one came to fortify the other. In this bittersweet and resonant memoir, Shadid creates a mosaic of past and present, tracing the house’s renewal alongside the history of his family’s flight from Lebanon and resettlement in America around the turn of the twentieth century. In the process, he memorializes a lost world and provides profound insights into a shifting Middle East. This paperback edition includes an afterword by the journalist Nada Bakri, Anthony Shadid’s wife, reflecting on his legacy. (From

“A poignant dedication to family, to home, and to history . . . Breathtaking.” --- San Francisco Chronicle 

“Entertaining, informative, and deeply moving . . . House of Stone will stand a long time, for those fortunate enough to read it.” — Telegraph (London)

For more information about the book, please visit: NY Times Article  and  YOU TUBE videos

MARCH Book Club Meet: HOUSE OF STONE by Anthony Shadid

Friday, March 28 at 10:30 am 

Abou the book (See April book selection above).








If you would like more information about the Alif Book Club, please contact us at  or call 770-936-8770.




6/20: Intercultural Movie & Dinner

The Yacoubian Building

Yacoubian Bldg

Friday, June 20, 2014 at 7:00 PM. 

Book your Seat by Thursday, June 19 if you plan to have dinner. 
Dinner is $18 per person / $15 for Alif members. (Vegetarian option will be available.)

Movie screening is free and open to the public; however RSVP is required.


"The lives and loves of a handful of Egyptian aristocrats -- some flush, others living in shabby gentility -- set the stage for this epic-scale drama, based on a best-selling Egyptian novel. The Yacoubian is a luxury apartment building which was built in Cairo in the late '30s. At the dawn of the 21st century, the Yacoubian still has charm and a reputation for elegance, but is beginning to show clear signs of decay, and the rooftop laundry facilities now double as flats for the

Read more: 6/20: Intercultural Movie & Dinner

May 2014 Events

Mark your calendars for these Alif events and classes in May:

May Programs Web
Summer Adult Arabic Classes
- Starting Tuesday, May 20. 
Cooking Classes - Saturday, May 10 and Thursday, May 15. 
Intercultural Movie & Dinner - Friday, May 16. 
Arab American Service Day - Saturday, May 17. 
Haflatuna - Saturday, May 17. 
Art Exhibit Reception - Sunday, May 18. 
Documentary & Discussion - Wednesday, May 28. 

Read more: May 2014 Events

Contact us

  • Telephone: 770-936-8770 
  • 3288 Marjan Drive, Atlanta, GA 30340

  • Operating Hours
    Tue: 10:30 AM - 9:00 PM* (when Arabic Classes in session)
    Tue - Fri: 10:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    Sat: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

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