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OCJCR Book Club – May 19

May 19 | 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm

Register at https://tinyurl.com/OCJCRBookClub.
(Books must be purchased separately)

While the Earth Sleeps We Travel

by Ahmed M. Badr



Sam Kolodezh


 A groundbreaking collection of poetry, personal narratives, and art from refugee youth around the world. Foreword by actor and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller.

Beginning in 2018, Ahmed M. Badr—an Iraqi-American poet and former refugee—traveled to Greece, Trinidad & Tobago, and Syracuse, New York, holding storytelling workshops with hundreds of displaced youth: those living in and outside of camps, as well as those adjusting to life after resettlement.

Combining Badr’s own poetry with the personal narratives and creative contributions of dozens of young refugees, While the Earth Sleeps We Travel seeks to center and amplify the often unheard perspectives of those navigating through and beyond the complexities of displacement. The result is a diverse and moving collection—a meditation on the concept of “home” and a testament to the power of storytelling.


You can purchase this book now
on Amazon


Dr. Sam Kolodezh is a lecturer at UCSD and NYU LA. He received his Ph.D. in Theatre and Drama from the joint program at UCI and UCSD. He specializes in cultural theory, Shakespeare, and adaptation. He is the son of Jewish Ukrainian refugees, a lover of stories across mediums, an avid traveler, and an explorer of in-betweens. As the Jewish half of a HinJew marriage, he is committed to interfaith and intercultural dialogue. He has worked as a scholar and artist in North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.



Ahmed M. Badr is an Iraqi-American author, poet, and social entrepreneur working at the intersection of creativity, displacement, and youth empowerment. Ahmed’s work seeks to combine poetry, archival collections, and multi-media to explore the complexities of migration, identity, and self-expression, with a focus on reframing and reclaiming the power of tragedy.

He is author of While the Earth Sleeps We Travel: Stories, Poetry, and Art from Young Refugees Around the World (Andrews McMeel), featuring a foreword by actor and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Ben Stiller.

Please check out the entire Book Club Series here


OCJCR’s Book Club Series is partially funded by a grant from


May 19
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Orange County Jewish Coalition for Refugees
Jewish Federation of Orange County