Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy is growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.” When her picture-perfect marriage goes sour, Khadra flees to Syria and learns how to pray again. On returning to America she works in an eastern state — taking care to stay away from Indiana, where the murder of her friend Tayiba's sister by Klan violence years before still haunts her. But when her job sends her to cover a national Islamic conference in Indianapolis, she's back on familiar ground: Attending a concert by her brother's interfaith band The Clash of Civilizations, dodging questions from the “aunties” and “uncles,” and running into the recently divorced Hakim everywhere. Beautifully written and featuring an exuberant cast of characters, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf charts the spiritual and social landscape of Muslims in middle America, from five daily prayers to the Indy 500 car race. It is a riveting debut from an important new voice.
the girl in the tangerine scarf
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Veiled Voices: Muhajabat in Secular Schools is based on ethnographic research that examines, questions, and dispels assumptions regarding American Muslim females that wear the Islamic headscarf (hijab) and attend secular schools. Prior to sharing the voice of the six females focused upon in this study, Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid provides a thorough explanation of what Islam, Sunnah, and Shariah teach regarding hijab. What is unique about this work is the thorough explanation provided to readers regarding Islam’s teachings pertaining to hijab. This allows readers to gain insight and understanding not usually provided when this subject is discussed. The purpose of sharing Islam’s hijab perspective is to introduce the reader to the many variables and possibilities that encompasses why some Muslim females veil. An analysis of the social and psychological effects of difference forces readers to confront their own biases and misunderstandings regarding Muslim females that wear hijab and provides an opportunity for the reexamination of these views after reading and understanding the in depth information provided. The challenges, discrimination, joys, and tribulations faced by the muhajabat are shared by them and displays an array of experiences that are not homogeneous. The commonality of their experiences is rooted in their ability to continue in their efforts to complete their education. The final chapter makes an important suggestion regarding society’s outlook regarding Muslim females that wear hijab and offers relevant research findings pertaining to muhajabat.
Arab Voices in Diaspora offers a wide-ranging overview and an insightful study of the field of anglophone Arab literature produced across the world. The first of its kind, it chronicles the development of this literature from its inception at the turn of the past century until the post 9/11 era. The book sheds light not only on the historical but also on the cultural and aesthetic value of this literary production, which has so far received little scholarly attention. It also seeks to place anglophone Arab literary works within the larger nomenclature of postcolonial, emerging, and ethnic literature, as it finds that the authors are haunted by the same 'hybrid', 'exilic', and 'diasporic' questions that have dogged their fellow postcolonialists. Issues of belonging, loyalty, and affinity are recognized and dealt with in the various essays, as are the various concerns involved in cultural and relational identification. The contributors to this volume come from different national backgrounds and share in examining the nuances of this emerging literature. Authors discussed include Elmaz Abinader, Diana Abu-Jaber, Leila Aboulela, Leila Ahmed, Rabih Alameddine, Edward Atiyah, Shaw Dallal, Ibrahim Fawal, Fadia Faqir, Khalil Gibran, Suheir Hammad, Loubna Haikal, Nada Awar Jarrar, Jad El Hage, Lawrence Joseph, Mohja Kahf, Jamal Mahjoub, Hisham Matar, Dunya Mikhail, Samia Serageldine, Naomi Shihab Nye, Ameen Rihani, Mona Simpson, Ahdaf Soueif, and Cecile Yazbak.Contributors: Victoria M. Abboud, Diya M. Abdo, Samaa Abdurraqib, Marta Cariello, Carol Fadda–Conrey, Cristina Garrigós, Lamia Hammad, Yasmeen Hanoosh, Waïl S. Hassan, Richard E. Hishmeh, Syrine Hout, Layla Al Maleh, Brinda J. Mehta, Dawn Mirapuri, Geoffrey P. Nash, Boulus Sarru, Fadia Fayez Suyoufie
Using Islamic tradition as a resource, the poets, novelists, playwright, filmmaker, and illustrator in this study discover signs of God’s creative actions amid the tensions of contemporary Muslim American identity.
Exploring the works of such best-selling authors as Rabih Alameddine, Mohja Kahf, Laila Halaby, Diana Abu-Jaber, Alicia Erian, and Randa Jarrar, Salaita highlights the development of each author’s writing and how each has influenced Arab American fiction. He examines common themes including the Israel-Palestine conflict, the Lebanese Civil War of 1975–90, the representation and practice of Islam in the United States, social issues such as gender and national identity in Arab cultures, and the various identities that come with being Arab American. Combining the accessibility of a primer with in-depth critical analysis, Modern Arab American Fiction is suitable for a broad audience, those unfamiliar with the subject area, as well as scholars of the literature.
The first edition of Dinarzad’s Children was a groundbreaking and popular anthology that brought to light the growing body of short fiction being written by Arab Americans. This expanded edition includes sixteen new stories —thirty in all—and new voices and is now organized into sections that invite readers to enter the stories from a variety of directions. Here are stories that reveal the initial adjustments of immigrants, the challenges of forming relationships, the political nuances of being Arab American, the vision directed towards homeland, and the ongoing search for balance and identity. The contributors are D. H. Melhem, Mohja Khaf, Rabih Alameddine, Rawi Hage, Laila Halaby, Patricia Sarrafian Ward, Alia Yunis, Diana Abu Jaber, Susan Muaddi Darraj, Samia Serageldin, Alia Yunis, Joseph Geha, May Monsoor Munn, Frances Khirallah Nobel, Nabeel Abraham, Yussef El Guindi, Hedy Habra, Randa Jarrar, Zahie El Kouri, Amal Masri, Sahar Mustafah, Evelyn Shakir, David Williams, Pauline Kaldas, and Khaled Mattawa.
Across North America, Islam is portrayed as a religion of immigrants, converts, and cultural outsiders. Yet Muslims have been part of American society for much longer than most people realize. This book documents the history of Islam in Detroit, a city that is home to several of the nation's oldest, most diverse Muslim communities. In the early 1900s, there were thousands of Muslims in Detroit. Most came from Eastern Europe, the Ottoman Empire, and British India. In 1921, they built the nation's first mosque in Highland Park. By the 1930s, new Islam-oriented social movements were taking root among African Americans in Detroit. By the 1950s, Albanians, Arabs, African Americans, and South Asians all had mosques and religious associations in the city, and they were confident that Islam could be, and had already become, an American religion. When immigration laws were liberalized in 1965, new immigrants and new African American converts rapidly became the majority of U.S. Muslims. For them, Detroit's old Muslims and their mosques seemed oddly Americanized, even unorthodox. Old Islam in Detroit explores the rise of Detroit's earliest Muslim communities. It documents the culture wars and doctrinal debates that ensued as these populations confronted Muslim newcomers who did not understand their manner of worship or the American identities they had created. Looking closely at this historical encounter, Old Islam in Detroit provides a new interpretation of the possibilities and limits of Muslim incorporation in American life. It shows how Islam has become American in the past and how the anxieties many new Muslim Americans and non-Muslims feel about the place of Islam in American society today are not inevitable, but are part of a dynamic process of political and religious change that is still unfolding.
Abstract: This thesis adopts a transnational and postcolonial feminist approach in exploring Arab American women's literature. In particular, I focus on the Jordanian-Palestinian American novel, West of the Jordan by Laila Halaby, and the Syrian American novel, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf by Mohja Kahf. In each chapter I examine the hyphenated identities of these novels' protagonists, Hala, Soraya, Khadija, and Khadra. In so doing, I argue that each character grapples with her identity mainly as a result of her Arab relatives' and American peers' fixed notions of cultural, national, and religious identities. Ultimately, my analysis traces the protagonists' various forms of resistance to the overly narrow definitions of "Arabness" and "Americanness" each must confront. Moreover, by contesting essentialist notions of "Arabness," I argue that both authors shed light on the diversity of Arabs and Muslims - two terms that, more often than not, have been conflated and reduced to a singular monolithic group in Eurocentric discourses. I locate my analysis within current geopolitical struggles such as the Palestinian Israeli conflict and the 9/11 attacks. Further, I place these novels within the genealogy of literature written by immigrants of Arab descent in the US.
This dissertation explores the kinds of homes that exist in the Middle Eastern diasporic imagination in light of the conflicting demands from both the host and original communities. I offer close textual analyses of Middle Eastern American women's writing across the genres of short story, novel, poetry, and blogosphere discourses in cyberspace, in order to contribute to on-going discussions about home in the immigrant imagination, ethnicity and gender constructs in the diaspora, and the psychological and emotional dimensions of migration.