Carnegie Mellon University

A picture of Anouar Rahmani

January 27, 2022

Algerian writer Anouar Rahmani arrives to Sampsonia Way

Abby Simmons
Allison M. Ruppert

City of Asylum Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Modern Languages, along with IIE’s Artist Protection Fund, announce the arrival of Algerian writer Anouar Rahmani to Sampsonia Way.

Anouar is a writer and human rights defender. Through his writings, he advocates for individual freedoms, environmental rights, as well as the rights of religious minorities and the LGBTQ+ community. He is also the first Algerian activist who has publicly called for same-sex marriage to be legally recognized in his country. Anouar Rahmani is an Artist Protection Fund Fellow in residence at CMU’s Department of Modern Languages and City of Asylum.

“City of Asylum was founded to provide a safe home for persecuted writers. We are honored to welcome Anouar to Pittsburgh,” states Andrés Franco, Executive Director of City of Asylum. “We know he will be a great addition to the community and look forward to introducing him to friends and neighbors.”

“We welcome Anouar to Pittsburgh and to our university,” said Anne Lambright, head of CMU’s Department of Modern Languages. “Anouar will contribute to our Arabic Studies and French and Francophone Studies programs, supporting their outreach with students and the community and helping to enhance our intellectual and cultural co-curricular offerings.”

About Anouar Rahmani: Anouar Rahmani is a writer and human rights defender from Algeria. He is the author of four novels in Arabic, including Hallucinations of Jibril and What God is Hiding from Us. Through his creative writing, journalism, and activism, Anouar advocates for individual freedoms, environmental rights, and the rights of minorities, women, and the LGBT+ community. In 2015, he was the first person to demand same-sex marriage in Algeria publicly.

Anouar holds a License in Public Law and a Master's in State and Institutional Law from the University of Morsli Abdallah. During the 2019 Algerian Revolution, he composed a new model for the Algerian constitution. Anouar has received support from PEN International during instances of judicial harassment he faced in Algeria due to his activism, novels, and journalism. In 2021, he was shortlisted for the Index on Censorship's Freedom of Expression Awards and selected by the German Bundestag's Protection Program "Parliamentarians for Parliamentarians."

Anouar is an Artist Protection Fund Fellow in residence at Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Modern Languages and City of Asylum.

About City of Asylum: City of Asylum builds a just community by protecting and celebrating freedom of creative expression. We provide sanctuary to endangered literary writers, so that the writers can continue to write, and their voices are not silenced. We offer a broad range of free literary, arts, and humanities programs in a community setting to build social equity through cultural exchange. And by transforming blighted properties into homes for our programs, we anchor neighborhood economic development.

artist-protection-fund-logo.pngAbout Artist Protection Fund: An initiative of Institute of International Education, the Artist Protection Fund (IIE-APF) fills a critical unmet need by protecting threatened artists and placing them at welcoming host institutions in safe countries where they can continue their work and plan for their futures. IIE-APF places these artists in safe havens for a full year and provides fellowship funding, mentoring, and inclusion in a comprehensive network of artistic and social support.