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Amal AwadScreenwriter | Author

Amal Awad is a journalist, screenwriter and author. She is in development on a number of television projects including Sex in the West (eOne), Muhammed Jones, and Daughters of Fate (CJZ). She is also co-writing a feature, Halal Pie.

Amal’s latest book, Fridays with my Folks, a work of non-fiction that delves into the experiences of ageing and illness, was published by Penguin Random House in 2019.

Amal has written three short films – My Sister’s WeddingThe Dury’s Out, and The Doorknock Appeal. She has been a columnist for SBS Life, and has written for ELLEFrankieDaily LifeSheilas and Junkee. Amal has also produced for ABC Radio National. For a full CV please contact info@rgm.com.au.

Books

Amal Awad’s life changed when her father was diagnosed with kidney failure. It was a shock to see the impact it had on him, both physically and mentally, and the way the side effects trickled onto those around him. Work had always made him feel whole and retirement was a challenge.On a mission to help her father and support her mother, Amal began spending every Friday with her parents. She saw the gaps in discussion around ageing and sickness. Amal’s personal experiences prompted her to explore how Australians are ageing, how sickness affects the afflicted and those around them, and what solutions exist when hope seems lost.

Fridays with My Folks shares heartfelt, honest stories that will help others who are in similar positions. People who are having to reorient themselves when the boat has taken a battering and they have to take a new direction. This book stems from personal experiences, but it expands to a much wider, more universal discussion about life, suffering, coping and hope.

Published by Random House Australia [To purchase, go to Publisher]

Amal Awad spoke with women in the Arab world and Arab Australian women to discover what their lives are really like. The breadth, variety and beauty of what she discovered will surprise you.

As someone who has a foot in both the Western and Arabic worlds, Amal set out to explore the lives of Arab women, in Australia and the Middle East, travelling to the region and interviewing more than sixty women about feminism, intimacy, love, sex and shame, trauma, war, religion and culture.

Beyond Veiled Clichés explores the similarities and differences experienced by these women in their daily lives – work, relationships, home and family life, friendships, the communities they live in, and more. Arab-Australian women are at the intersection – between Western ideals and Arab tradition. It can get messy, but there is also great beauty in the layers.

In a time of racial tension and rising global fear around terrorism, there is a renewed fear of ‘the other’. At its heart this fascinating book normalises people and their experiences. The breadth, variety and beauty of what Amal has discovered will enthral and surprise you.

Published by Random House Australia [To purchase, go to Publisher]

“So I was turned off a suitor when I saw his shoes. Despite the Arab warrior preference, I didn’t really care about looks. But I had a general rule: if the suitor came in wearing shoes with tassels, a leather jacket circa 1982, and/or a moustache, the doorknock appeal would fail from the outset. A girl has to have some standards, right?”

It may be the 21st century, but who says courtship is obsolete? Coming from a (not-quite- traditional) Muslim family, 27-year-old Samira Abdel-Aziz knows all about it. But as an assistant at Bridal Bazaar magazine, she’s pretty sick of all things wedding-related. Surely there’s more to life than suitors and marriage?

Then Samira unwittingly becomes wedding gofer for her cousin/nemesis Zahra and her life begins to resemble a Spanish soap opera – minus the skimpy clothing and the bitch-slaps.

This story is a light-hearted but honest peek into the life of a young, single Muslim woman living in Sydney – the joys of a blossoming romance (all very proper), the courtship rituals (so Jane Austen), the struggle with career and, of course, Arab Guilt.

Self-published, available from Booktopia


Guilt is an emotion for which I have no time. It’s exhausting, stops you from having any fun, and is the equivalent of one of those T-shirts that says ‘I went to [insert adventure] and all I got was this lousy T-shirt’.”

In recovery mode after a messy divorce from a non-Muslim man, Lara Abdel-Aziz is estranged from her family and out of touch with her best friend Samira. Local guitar player Leo is good company, but her only other interactions are with her mostly-absent flatmate Icky, and new age store owner Angela, who wants Lara to work for her and get in touch with her higher self. Lara is comfortably on autopilot until a near-assault at work forces her into counselling and she must start to unpack the events of her life and make peace with the past. Meanwhile, an unexpected encounter with Hakeem, the strict religious friend once in love with Samira, leads to an unlikely connection. As an attraction develops between them, they both begin to repair their broken lives.

This is How You Get Better is the sequel to Courting Samira.

Self-published, available from Booktopia.

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