Roxanne Varzi — a local writer, filmmaker, multimedia artist and UC Irvine professor of cultural anthropology — begins with a disclaimer: if anyone is expecting her to play the role of a political correspondent or explain yet another rising wave of Islamophobia in the U.S., it’s a good time to leave and check out the eateries nearby. She has come to speak to her audience, first and foremost, as a storyteller and an artist.

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