the girl in the tangerine scarf
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The Girl In The Tangerine Scarf by Mojha Kahf
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.
Veiled Voices by Dr. Jawairriya Abdallah-Shahid
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 by Layla Maleh
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
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.
A History Of Islam In America by Kambiz GhaneaBassiri
Traces the history of Muslims in the US and their waves of immigration and conversion across five centuries.
My Lover Feeds Me Grapefruit by Mohja Kahf
In this radiant collection of love poems, Mohja Kahf makes a feast and a celebration, in language and of language. Everyone is invited: "Never drink while another is thirsty. You first. No, you. We could dance like this forever." From dizzying bursts of eros to wry acceptance of mortality, Kahf translates her robust Arabic literary lineage into the regal command: "Always multiply the gift." Pleasure shimmers off these pages with spiritual undertones, glancing subtly at Quran, at hadith. The opening poem, "When I Come to You," echoes a Hadith Qudsi in which God says, "When my worshipper comes to Me walking, I go to her running." With its joyful succession of images calling for reciprocity, this poem, and the collection, honor the mutual desire for union between Creator and creature as a foundation for expressions of human desire. From that generous place, we leap into lyric delight in the physicality of the erotic. It is the reader's task and reward to embrace "this beautiful clumsiness." -from the Preface by Rahat Kurd
Kaaterskill Falls by Allegra Goodman
In the summer of '76, the Shulmans and the Melishes migrate to Kaaterskill, the tiny town in upstate New York where Orthodox Jews and Yankee year-rounders live side by side from June through August. Elizabeth Shulman, a devout follower of Rav Elijah Kirshner and the mother of five daughters, is restless. She needs a project of her own, outside her family and her cloistered community. Across the street, Andras Melish is drawn to Kaaterskill by his adoring older sisters, bound to him by their loss and wrenching escape from the Holocaust. Both comforted and crippled by his sisters' love, Andras cannot overcome the ambivalence he feels toward his children and his own beautiful wife. At the top of the hill, Rav Kirshner is coming to the end of his life, and he struggles to decide which of his sons should succeed him: the pious but stolid Isaiah, or the brilliant but worldly Jeremy. Behind the scenes, alarmed as his beloved Kaaterskill is overdeveloped by Michael King, the local real estate broker, Judge Miles Taylor keeps an old secret in check, biding his time.... From the Trade Paperback edition.
Hagar Poems by Mohja Kahf
“Mohja Kahf ’s Hagar Poems is brilliantly original in its conception, thrillingly artful in its execution. Its range is immense, its spiritual depth is profound, it negotiates its shifts between archaic and the contemporary with utmost skill. There’s lyricism, there’s satire, there’s comedy, there’s theology of a high order in this book.” —Alicia Ostriker, author of For the Love of God: The Bible as an Open Book “Hagar/ Hajar the immigrant/exile/outcast/refugee mother of a people is given multiple voices and significance in Mohja Kahf’s new book of dramatic monologues, which also reinvents Pharaoh’s daughter, Zuleika, Aïsha, and Mary in poems that are at once lively and learned, agnostic and devout. The sequence on an American mosque, and the poet’s ambivalent love for what it represents, is unique in American poetry.” —Marilyn Hacker, author of A Stranger’s Mirror “‘Where have all the goddesses gone,’ writes Mohja Kahf, ‘I tracked down Isis / incognito on Cyprus. /She told me Ishtar / lived under the radar / in southern Iraq. . . .’ In Hagar Poems, Mohja Kahf’s hallmark qualities—irreverence, imagination, wit, poignancy—are all exuberantly in evidence. A wonderful read.” —Leila Ahmed, author of A Quiet Revolution: The Veil’s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America “This brilliant collection captures all the ‘patient threading of relationship’ between Hagar and Sarah as between women, and then between women and men, between human and God. . . . At every turn of the page [Kahf] refuses complacency and circumstance but opts instead for exposing the tenuousness of threads that tie and bind and then come loose before our eyes.” —From the foreword by Amina Wadud The central matter of this daring new collection is the story of Hagar, Abraham, and Sarah—the ancestral feuding family of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. These poems delve into the Hajar story in Islam. They explore other figures from the Near Eastern heritage, such as Mary and Moses, and touch on figures from early Islam, such as Fatima and Aisha. Throughout, there is artful reconfiguring. Readers will find sequels and prequels to the traditional narratives, along with modernized figures claimed for contemporary conflicts. Hagar Poems is a compelling shakeup of not only Hagar’s story but also of current roles of all kinds of women in all kinds of relationships.
Jesus Saves by Darcey Steinke
From one of the most daring and sensuous young writers in America, Jesus Saves, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, is a suburban gothic that explores the sources of evil, confronts the dynamic shifts within theology, and traces the consequences of suburban alienation. Set in the modern launch pads of adolescent ritual, the strip malls and duplexes on the back side of suburbia, it’s the story of two girls: Ginger, a troubled minister’s daughter; and Sandy Patrick, who has been abducted from summer camp and now smiles from missing-child posters all over town. Layering the dreamscapes of Alice in Wonderland with the subculture of River’s Edge, Darcey Steinke’s Jesus Saves is an unforgettable passage through the depths of the literary imagination.
Taking Back God by Leora Tanenbaum
In Taking Back God Leora Tanenbaum recounts the stories of women across the United States, starting with herself, who love their religion but hate their second-class status within it. If you've witnessed the preferential treatment of men in America's houses of worship, you will not be surprised to learn that there is a surge of women in this country rising up and demanding religious equality. More and more, religious women—Christian, Muslim, and Jewish—are declaring that they expect to be treated as equals in the religious sphere. They want the same meaningful spiritual connections enjoyed by their brothers, fathers, husbands, and sons. They embrace the word of God but are critical of their faith's male-oriented theology and liturgy. They reject the conventional interpretations of religious traditions that give women a different—and, to their minds, lesser—status. Rather than abandoning their faith, they are taking it back and making it stronger, transforming religion while maintaining tradition. Tanenbaum relates the experiences of Catholics, evangelical and mainline Protestants, Muslims, and observant Jews. The conflict they face—honoring tradition while expanding it to synchronize with modern values—is ultimately one that all people of faith grapple with today.