Haneen Alshujairy and Justin Sirois began collaborating on a novel and a book of short stories in late 2007, working entirely over email. After completing both literary projects, they decided to start a more culturally overt campaign to get everyone in the world to read just one word of Arabic. It is a gesture of goodwill between Western and Arab cultures, a symbol that promotes empathy and understanding over conflict.
The Understanding Campaign is growing into an international nonprofit organization promoting literary projects between the English and Arab worlds. Our nonpartisan initiative seeks to open dialogue through establishing a book donation program where publishers and individuals can easily send books to the Iraqi National Library and Iraqi University libraries.