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On January 2018, Hazem Hamouda left his Brisbane home for a family trip to his birthplace of Cairo, where his daughter Lamisse was about to begin a university exchange. Upon arrival at Cairo International Airport, Hazem was arrested in a random sweep by authorities, accused of sympathising with a terrorist organisation. 

Lamisse abandoned what should have been two years of education in her cultural homeland to step into the public eye and campaign for her father’s release. Mr Hamouda was released after a year of being detained, and this year Hazem alongside his daughter Lamisse have completed a book encapsulating this tragic event.  

The memoir is an extraordinarily crafted account of what it’s like to find your life turned upside down overnight. It’s also a nuanced discussion of race, religion, gender and culture in Australia and Egypt, and what it’s like to live between the two, from two generations of the same family.

The Wire’s Aryana Mohmood spoke to Lamisse Hamouda, Brisbane-based youth worker and writer, about her book ‘The Shape of Dust’ and how she came to write this book with her father. 

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The book will be published on July 4 2023. You can find this book in all good Dymocks retailers around Australia, and from independent book sellers and it is available for pre-order on Booktopia.

Lamisse and her father will be in Melbourne for the emergers writers festival, speaking at the Wheeler center on Thursday night, June 22, there are still tickets available and you can book on the EWF website. There will also be a book launch in Meanjin at AVID Reader on Sunday July 16 at 2pm, and to book please go to the AVID reader.      

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