Azzedine T. Downes at Harvard Book Store
The Couscous Chronicles:
Stories of Food, Love, and Donkeys
from a Life between Cultures
in conversation with JEFF CORWIN
July 26, 2023
7:00 PM ET
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Boston Area Returning Peace Corps Volunteers welcome AZZEDINE T. DOWNES—President and CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare—for a discussion of his new book The Couscous Chronicles: Stories of Food, Love, and Donkeys from a Life between Cultures. He will be joined in conversation by Emmy award-winning television host, producer, and author, JEFF CORWIN.
About The Couscous Chronicles
Now an international leader in the fight for animal welfare, Azzedine began his career as a volunteer teacher and later was appointed to leadership in the U.S. Peace Corps. An American Muslim with Irish roots, he’s a natural cultural shape-shifter, immersing himself in the cultures of Morocco, Eastern Europe, Northwest Africa, Israel and his native United States. Along the way he befriends the glue-sniffing shoemakers of Fez, becomes the de facto manager of a traveling break-dance troupe, dodges bullets on his daily commute, and finds himself cursed over a feast of couscous gone very, very wrong.
But his most powerful story recounts Azzedine’s marriage to an elusive girl from Tangiers. Arranged after only two meetings their love story ultimately spans continents and withstands language barriers, international intrigue, and one very antagonistic State Department bureaucrat.
A labyrinth of tales as complex as its namesake dish, The Couscous Chronicles is for anyone who believes that the only real failure is to remain unchanged and in place, that true love is always a blind leap, and that a good story over a cup of tea holds the power to change one’s destiny.
Praise for The Couscous Chronicles
"The Couscous Chronicles is one of the most extraordinary and fascinating books I have ever read." —Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE, ethologist and conservationist
“Azzedine has woven a masterful tapestry of a life lived in faraway places that very few people get to experience or even see. Every page is overflowing with a bouquet of unique characters, diverse cultures, and random humorous events that envelop and capture the senses.” —Sir Graham Russell, Founding Member and Songwriter for Air Supply
"A wonderful collection of stories told with humor, insight, and compassion. I was swept up in a world of travel, culture and rich human experience!" —Mark Beaudouin, Chair of IFAW Global Board of Directors
"Azzedine has lived an inspired life full of adventures and purpose. His accomplishments and impact would make any mother proud!" —Jon Levy, Founder of The Influencers, New York Times Bestselling Author of You’re Invited
Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
Unable to attend a Harvard Book Store author event? You can still pre-order a signed book by one of our visiting authors.
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Established in 1978, Boston Area Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (BARPCV) is a nonprofit, member-driven organization consisting of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) who are committed to the values and spirit of the Peace Corps.
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