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Black Tie International: The World Is Just a Book Away

The World Is Just a Book Away founder James Owens at Riz Khan Library opening

The World Is Just a Book Away founder James Owens at
 Riz Khan Library opening



 Non-profit organization The World is Just a Book Away (WIJABA) is proud to launch its Authors for Books program with the help of debuting author A.G.S. Johnson and renowned international journalist Riz Khan. Both are donating a portion of the profits from the sales of their just-released books, The Sausage Maker's Daughters (Johnson) and We Interrupt Our Programming...(Khan), to WIJABA, which supplies books and builds school libraries for children in developing countries.

"WIJABA is extremely excited about the opportunity created through the launch of Authors for Books," says WIJABA Founder James Owens. "The participation of talented authors A.G.S. Johnson and Riz Khan means that proceeds from books will actually provide books for children who have little to no current access to books. I think this is a beautiful and extremely meaningful cycle of giving for the authors, the readers, the charity, and most of all the children we serve." Johnson is a founding board member of WIJABA (2009), and Khan became a member of the advisory board for WIJABA in April 2011.

Khan, an author and internationally-renowned television broadcaster who helped set up and shape the world's three leading news networks--BBC World, CNN International and Al Jazeera English--is respected around the globe for his high-profile interviews with leading figures in politics, entertainment, business and sports.

His first venture into fiction, We Interrupt Our Programming... is a comical drama set in the fast-paced world of international TV news, offering the reader a candid look at some of the quirky things that might take place behind the scenes, and a chance to meet some fascinating and familiar-sounding characters that inhabit the often dysfunctional, but always highly influential, world of international media.

Khan--a long-time and avid supporter of education, health and literacy for children in developing countries--recently launched his first novel in Dubai during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2012. The novel will be available for purchase online through and all Kindle applications.

"The joy of reading is magical in itself, but the power of reading to educate, inform and develop a child's mind towards critical thinking cannot be replaced," states Khan. "It is easy for those of us privileged to have so much reading material to assume everyone else does - but it is not the case. I was moved by the passion driving James Owens and his team at The World Is Just a Book Away to make a difference in the lives of so many children who might otherwise be forgotten."

After her 20-plus year career in international banking, A.G.S. Johnson--who also serves on the Council of the Library Foundation of Los Angeles board--pursued her lifelong dream of becoming an author. She earned a Masters in fiction writing from the University of Southern California and proceeded to publish her debut novel, The Sausage Makers Daughters, which hit bookshelves in February. Part murder mystery, part courtroom drama, part in-dept character study, The Sausage Maker's Daughters is set against the Vietnam era, exposing the counterculture life of Kip Czermanski before the crowded courtroom right along with the darkest secrets of her conservative family. With her second novel already in progress, she's garnered praise from author Aram Saroyan, (Door to the River) and award-winning author Madelyn Cain (Laffit: Anatomy of a Winner).

"The [WIJABA] film clips of these beautiful Muslim children, the girls with their hair covered, waving American flags at these libraries' openings and rushing to get inside, moves me to tears," Johnson says. "That's why a portion of the proceeds from my novel will go to fund this continuing effort to bring the inspiration of books to all children in the world. Books change lives."

Adds Khan, "The work of WIJABA is SO valuable and has lasting impact on these young lives that are the future of our world. From a very young age, I would read anything I could get my hands on, and I believe that has truly brought me the success I feel today. I can only hope that everyone else as lucky as I, realizes how important it is to try to give something back."

More information on the authors and links to PURCHASE their books:
Riz Khan -- Twitter: @AJRizKhan, Facebook: Riz Khan
A.G.S. Johnson --

About The World Is Just A Book Away
The World Is Just A Book Away (WIJABA) is a 501(c)(3) founded on the core belief that education breaks the cycle of poverty and promotes peace around the world. We provide children with hope through books and education in our libraries and reading rooms, empowering them to change their own lives and the world at large. We work in developing countries where we can make a major impact and where children can also leverage their knowledge by partnering with local communities to better the lives of their fellow citizens.

WIJABA launched in 2008 with a library program in Sidoarjo, Indonesia, site of the mudflow disaster that displaced more than 60,000 people and destroyed many schools. Strategically, WIJABA is intended to make a deep impact in a specific community, by building sustainable libraries and programs, rather than trying to assist children in many countries simultaneously. To date, expanding into other regions and surpassing all initial expectations, the organization has initiated programs to serve 25,000+ Children with 50,000+ Books, through 49 Libraries, 26 Parent Libraries, and 2 Mobile Libraries
@justabookaway (Twitter)



Joyce Brooks

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