Alia Yunis

Alia_YunisAlia Yunis, filmmaker, screenwriter, author and journalist, is currently directing and producing the feature length documentary, The Golden Harvest.   If it were a woman, olive oil would be the Mediterranean’s Scherherazade, the great storyteller. In The Golden Harvest, the camera lets olive oil weave its way around the Mediterranean, stopping at different spots, to introduce us to the colorful, often touching characters that inhabit the world of olive oil, which has seeped its way in the culture, economics, history, politics, religion and food of this area for 8,000 years.

A PEN Emerging Voices Fellow,Alia is the author of the  novel The Night Counter (Crown/Random House, 2010), which has been critically acclaimed by the Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly and several other publications. It was chosen as a top summer read by the Chicago Tribune and Boston Phoenix.  The Boston Globe called it “poignant and hilarious” and Daily Candy described the life and times of the main character as “madcap.”

Alia has worked as a filmmaker and journalist in several cities.  Her writing has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Aramco World, and Saveur, among others.  Her fiction non-fiction has been published in numerous anthologies.  She began her career in film after winning an award for comedy writing from Warner Bros when she was studying at American University in Washington, DC.


10 thoughts on “Alia Yunis

  1. Dear Mrs Yunis,

    “Der Leserpreis – die besten Buecher 2010“ is a big success in this year again. It is one of the biggest audience bookawards in the German-speaking area. Down to the present midday readers could nominate their favourite books for the Leserpreis 2010.

    Hereby we heartly want to congratulate you: Your book “The Night Ciounter“ was chosen most often by the readers and therefore made it to the shortlist in the category “General Literature“. In each category there are now 35 books for choice. From Friday, 3 December 2010, you can see the Shortlist at this website:

    Now the important phase starts. Here readers can vote for their favourite books until 10 December 2010. On Monday 13th December 2010 the Leserpreis in Gold, Silver and Bronze will be awarded.

    If you like to call your reader’s attention to your nomination and the voting, please link to this website:

    We‘ll keep our fingers crossed!

    With kind regards
    Mirjam Mieschendahl from the LovelyBooks Team


  2. You spoke in Frankfurt about the answer to the question you often get about where you are really from…you said the US is the easiest, even though you have rootlets of both insider and outside access to cultures in many different landscapes…I hear that. Expatriate life is strange–rootlets but not roots.


  3. I loved the Night Counter. As a native of Michigan and living in MENA it was one hilarious bit of entertainment – SO INSIGHTFUL!


  4. Mrs. Yunis, The Golden Harvest of olive cultivation is spreading beyond the Mediterranean, due to global warming, across the southern tier of the US into northern Florida, southern & eastern Georgia and along the coast of South and North Carolina. Olive orchards are now being planted in southern England and in Australia and New Zealand, and now in southern China. My efforts to introduce olive cultivation into middle Georgia were defeated by recent winter low temperature of minus 12 degrees C. See and
    Robert Schwind


  5. Dear Mrs. Yunis,
    how can I contact you regarding your permission to translate one of your short stories to Portuguese?


  6. Ms. Yunis, I am trying to find the poet Natasa Bagic and get permission to use part of her poem Meeting Under the Olive Trees. Do you have a connection to her or to her translatorIvana Jeremić – Robinson ? Thank you, Anna Rubin


    • I love this poem, and did not know how to find them, so that is why I referenced all their information so I could give them full credit, but sadly couldn’t find them.


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