October 22, 2017
“Courageous teachers wanted to help rebuild war-torn nation.” Alesa Lightbourne responded to an online ad, and ended up spending six months teaching in Kurdish Iraq in 2010. She spent every weekend in a local village, where she learned first-hand about honor killings, female genital mutilation, and age-old traditions that limit the lives of Kurdish women. Her recently published book, The Kurdish Bike, won the Gold Medal for Best Regional Fiction from the Independent Publishers Book Awards, an international prize. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__fw6OTpPBE for a short video about the book.)
The author shows slides of the real people featured in her novel, explains the political ambitions of Kurds, and shares the plight of village women today. She also shares village clothes in an engaging fashion show at the end, and signs copies of her book. The book is available on Amazon (paperback and e-book), through Barnes & Noble online, in many local independent book stores, and in libraries. (You may have to request it.)
Alesa has lived and taught in six countries in the Caribbean, Middle East and Asia, and was the dean of a university in Singapore. She holds a Ph.D. in communications, an MFA in creative writing, and a BA in cultural anthropology. She currently resides in Santa Cruz.