Najwa Zebian is a Lebanese-Canadian activist, poet, educator, speaker, and author, who is behind the books Sparks of Phoenix, Mind Platter, and The Nectar of Pain.
In her works, Zebian sheds light on a variety of social themes and experiences that she has had personal encounters with throughout her life, ranging from friendship, love, and identity, to heartbreak, discrimination, and abuse.
The Lebanon-born writer has been residing in Ontario, Canada, since she was displaced during the July 2006 war.
Zebian holds a B.Sc. in Biology, a B.Ed. in General Science and Biology, and an M.Ed. in Curriculum Studies, all of which she received from the University of Western Ontario, where she is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership.
Her first teaching assignment was at the same university, where she taught writing to a group of young Libyan refugees.
Since then, she has grown to become an influential figure through her inspiring writing, activism, and public speaking, counting over 1 million followers on Instagram alone.
Her motto? “Healing souls through words and poetry.”
Naji Bakhti holds a B.A. in English Literature from the American University of Beirut, an M.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Westminster (UK), and a Ph.D. in Creative Writing from Lancaster University (UK).
He is a former associate lecturer of literature and writing at several universities in Lebanon and the UK.
Through his recently-published debut novel, Between Beirut and the Moon, Naji Bakhti provides readers with a unique and rarely-visited angle from which they can view Lebanon through the eyes and experiences of its people.
The novel, which was published in August and praised as “engrossing, warm, and gloriously funny” by novelist Roddy Doyle, is a coming-of-age story set in post-civil war Lebanon.
It smoothly blends humor with tragedy to tell the story of an ambitious boy who dreams of becoming an astronaut.
Among a selection of bestselling authors and inspirational speakers from all around the globe, Najwa Zebian and Naji Bakhti will appear in the 39th edition of the SIBF, which will be streamed online from November 4th – 14th.