In this timely event, we pull back the curtain on the experiences of immigrants in the West, examine Western expectations of gratitude, and explore the interplay between ideas of assimilation, integration, and ‘worthiness’.

Join media expert Aaqil Ahmed, 21st US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera, and author Ayisha Malik as they discuss the wide spectrum of the refugee and immigrant experience, offering nuanced, complicated perspectives on the notion of “good” immigrants.

About The Host

About The Speakers

Juan Felipe Herrera

Juan Felipe Herrera is the 21st Poet Laureate of the United States (2015 – 2016) and is the first Latino to hold the position. Herrera’s many collections of poetry include Notes on the Assemblage, Senegal Taxi, Half of the World in Light: New and Selected Poems. He was a recipient of the PEN, Beyond Margins Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award.

Aaqil Ahmed

Aaqil is the former Head of Religion and Ethics at the BBC and Channel 4, delivering many award-winning programmes, including The Life of Muhammad. He is also Professor of Media at Bolton University, Non-Executive Director of the Advertising Standards Authority and a consultant in Television production, communications and diversity.

 

Ayisha Malik Headshot

Ayisha Malik

Ayisha Malik’s adult novels Sofia Khan is Not Obliged, The Other Half of Happiness, and This Green and Pleasant Land were met with great critical acclaim. Ayisha was a WHSmith Fresh Talent Pick and Sofia Khan has been a CityReads London book. Her children’s books include a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park and The Seven Sisters. She is winner of The Diversity Book Awards and has been shortlisted for The Asian Women of Achievement Award, Marie Claire’s Future Shapers’ Awards and the h100 Awards. Her latest novel, The Movement, is out July 2022.