Fresno State Professor Randa Jarrar was born in Chicago in 1978 to Egyptian mother and Palestinian father. She’s an ward-winning American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and translator of several Arabic short stories and a novel. Her book, Him, Me, Muhammad Ali, won an American Book Award, a PEN Oakland Award, and a Story Prize Spotlight Award. Jarrar has received fellowships from the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, Hedgebrook, and others. Randa Jarrar Biography and Profile.