Author Sami Michael recently returned from a tour of the US during which an international conference on his literary works was held at the Stanford University. The conference lasted three days and was attended by literature researchers from Israel and various US universities.
The conference was a joint initiative by Professor Yigal Schwartz, Professor Nitza Ben-Dov and Professor Vered Shemtov. The event was cosponsored by the Israel Project at the Taube Center for Jewish Studies, Stanford University with support from the Koret Foundation and by Heksherim, the Research Center for Jewish and Israeli Literature and Culture, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.
On the eve of the festive opening, Professor Nancy Berg, from the department of Jewish, Islamic and Near Eastern Studies at Washington University in St. Louis, and author of "More and More Equal: The Literary Works of Sami Michael," spoke of Sami Michael's status in Hebrew literature.
The conference was held in English and the various sessions focused on various topics in Michael's works: Immigrants, Arabs, women, and the connection between Baghdad and Haifa, and Michael as a man of two languages and two cultures.
Among the speakers were the Iraqi author Najem Wali who said that in Michael's book "Victoria" the author did a better job at describing things that someone like himself was not aware of in the country in which he was raised, the country that with such brutality erased from its memory everything pertaining to the catastrophe that swept them all…he said that upon reading Michal's "Victoria" many things in his life had changed.
Michael also visited Los Angels, where he was invited to meet members of the Iranian Jewish community who had published his book "A Trumpet in the Wadi" in Persian.The head of the Jewish community in Iran, who was visiting Los Angeles, also attended the event and asked Michael for his permission to print and distribute "A Trumpet in the Wadi" in Iran as well.