Liyah Babayan


Liminal, A Refugee Memoir

A Transformative Refugee Memoir Reshaping Education Nationwide

About Liminal, a refugee memoir

Documenting her family’s escape from the ethnic killings of Armenians in Baku, Azerbaijan, Liyah takes us into her childhood perspective of war and violence during her most formative years. Based around journal entries written by her at a young age, she describes learning English in America and her personal experience of how becoming a refugee shaped her. Liyah takes the reader into her most private and personal space along with her struggle with identity, assimilation and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

Her loss of innocence, longing for a childhood, and survivor’s guilt is conveyed through her emotional reflection about life after genocide. We meet a child who finds safety in detachment from everything around her and finds peace in the stillness and liminal space of her pending identity as an adolescent. The memoir gives readers a glimpse of life in America and what it means to be a newcomer. On the other side of the American Dream, we learn about the mental health struggles of those arriving from war and violent conflicts and how they are expected to assimilate with little or no support. This memoir captures life’s inability to break the human spirit when a family is imbued with unwavering faith, unconditional gratitude and sheer determination.

Media, Readership and Access

Keys to Success Everyone Can Learn From Refugees – TEDxBoise

Liminal: A Refugee Memoir –  Book Reviews and Readership on Amazon

Idaho City of Immigrants Debates Taking in Middle Eastern Refugees

Boise State Public Radio Interview and Feature – Idaho Matters

Author Talk and Book Signing – Idaho Book Shops in Boise & Universities 

Feature and Review of Liminal In International Press – Asbarez

“From Refugee to Social Entrepreneur” – Feature in See Change Magazine

“Idaho Became Our Family’s Ellis Island” – Magic Valley News

Local Refugee’s Memoir Being Used to Teach Course at CSI, University of Hawaii

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chair Consults With ANCA Idaho

Interview With Project Tumbleweed recorded on June 30, 2020 in Twin Falls, ID.

Lecture With the Twin Falls Refugee Library About Her Journey

Keynote Speaker – Democratic Women’s Caucus Breakfast 

The Other: Genocide; Life After – Last Born in the Wilderness Podcast (Part I)

The Other: Genocide; Life After – Last Born in the Wilderness Podcast (Part II)

Twin Falls: The Idaho City at the Center of the Refugee Controversy

Refugee Memoir Tells of Genocide, American Welcome

Available Now in Bookstores and Educational Institutions Across Idaho and the U.S.

Liminal: A Refugee Memoir can be found and purchased in bookshops, colleges, and museums across Idaho and the U.S., including Amazon and Barnes & Noble. After the creation of the “Liminal: A Refugee Memoir” teacher’s guide, the book has been integrated into secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, including a General Education course (taught for three years at the College of Southern Idaho). Additionally, it was highlighted at the Idaho Teacher’s Conference and Idaho’s Refugee Conference in February 2022 and 2023, to be included in Junior High and High School public school curricula.