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SUNY Canton to Host LGBTQ Activist, Renowned Author For First Virtual Living Writers Series Event

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SUNY Canton invites the community to watch the first virtual Living Writers Series event featuring an LGBTQ activist who left his family and home country of Syria to seek asylum in Canada.

Award-winning author Ahmad Danny Ramadan will read from his acclaimed book, “The Clothesline Swing” at 6:30 p.m. (EST) Wednesday, April 22 via Zoom.

Participants will be asked to enter the following:

Meeting ID: 980 0826 3096

Password: 1W6aZD

The reading will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

“Mr. Ramadan's novel is a moving tale about love and loss that takes us inside the Syrian Civil War and refugee crisis on a human and emotional level that is so often missing from our national dialogue,” said Living Writers Series creator and Associate Professor Phil K. LaMarche. “I am so pleased that he can join us from his home in Vancouver and share his story.”

Danny Ramadan

Ramadan made the difficult decision to leave Syria when his family cut ties with him after he revealed that he was gay. He was subsequently jailed by the Syrian government for six weeks. Upon his release, he said, he became a persona non grata and fled to Lebanon.

After he was granted asylum in Canada, Ramadan became an advocate for LGBTQ refugees from Syria also seeking escape persecution.

“The Clothesline Swing” is his first novel. It tells the story of two elderly lovers anchored to the memory of a dying Syria, according to the publisher. One is a “hakawati,” a storyteller, keeping life in forward motion by relaying remembered fables to his dying partner. Each night, he weaves stories of his childhood in Damascus, of the cruelty he has endured for his sexuality, of leaving home, of war, and of his fated meeting with his lover.

The novel won the Independent Publisher Book Award for LGBT+ Fiction, The Canadian Authors Association’s award for Best Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Evergreen Award, Sunburst Award and a Lambda Award.

Ramadan was named among the Top Immigrants to Canada 2017 and was awarded the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Award for Excellency.

For more information view The Living Writers Series website.

About SUNY Canton

As Northern New York's premier college for career-driven bachelor's degrees, associate degrees and professional certificate programs, SUNY Canton delivers quality hands-on programs in digital design, engineering technology, health, management and public service. Faculty members are noted for their professional real-world experience in addition to outstanding academic credentials. As SUNY's leader in online education, SUNY Canton OnLine offers hundreds of flexible and convenient courses as well as 23 online degree programs. The college placed first in 14 categories in a SUNY-Wide Student Opinion Survey, most notably in career services, tutoring, library resources, and classroom facilities. The SUNY Canton Kangaroos 15 traditional athletic teams compete at the NCAA Division III level as part of the North Atlantic Conference. SUNY Canton also features varsity esports and cheerleading.