In recent days, we’ve been bombarded with news stories of the fallout of Trump’s decision to halt refugee resettlement efforts, stop refugee entry, totally ban Syrian refugees and step up deportation. Stories of people stranded, handcuffed, turned away, stripped from their children and deposited at the Mexico border with nothing but the clothes on their backs. These stories, like the decision that started all this coverage, were hard to digest. I was angered, frustrated and at times, sad, lacking hope. As I often do when distressed, I sink into books. I find that reading helps me to either recenter or escape (and regroup later when I emerge). I opened my reader, hoping to find my center, and scanned the various unread titles. I ran across this one, A Country Called Amreeka: U. S. History Retold through Arab-American Lives. How appropriate at a time like this, I thought and hurriedly launched the book.
This non-fiction book by Alia Malek is a history book (covering the ’40s through the early 2000s) told in parallel. One parallel track is the Arab-American version of history as told from the perspective of various Arab-Americans who lived the history and the other parallel track is the American political/media version as reported by news outlets and governmental agencies. I purchased the book last November (2016) after meeting the author and hearing her speak. Back then, I was impressed with her message on inclusion and unification, and her thorough knowledge of U.S. and Middle East history. But since reading her book, I have been more impressed with her ability to educate me. In Amreeka, the Arab-American word for America, I have deepened my knowledge of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the struggles Arab-Americans have had in America, and how slanted news reporting can be. Also, through her thorough and insightful education, I have been reminded of what powerful tools “hope” and “prayer” can be.
I have not finished the book yet but already I am telling everyone I know to read it. It’s a heart-opener for those who need a reminder that all people are worthy of fair and equal treatment regardless of skin color, religion or national origin. It’s an educational lift for those who rely solely on mainstream media/news sources, and it’s an eye-widener for those who thought they knew the ins and outs of our American political/media system.
Again, the book is, “A Country Called Amreeka: U. S. History Retold through Arab-American Lives” by Alia Malek or visit http://www.aliamalek.com/ for more details.
Now is the time to live for others, to fight for all!
Very touching post Ann and much needed xxxx
Thanks, Shey. I need to head over to your blog. I could use a laugh and I’m sure the “dudes” can provide that and more. Blessings!
Well said, Ann! Wonderful call to action and reminder “that all people are worthy of fair and equal treatment regardless of skin color, religion or national origin.” I am unfamiliar with the book, but you have me curious. Will definitely add to my “to read” list.
I think you’ll find it interesting, Marsha. Alia, the author, is a journalist and she well-documented the stories and people in her book. But I should warn you that some of the stories are quite emotional. As with Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” I had to take breaks from time to time to recenter myself. A good, mind-opening read but a tough one, too. I think you’ll find it worth your reading time.
Your post gave me goosebumps Ann. Indeed this book sounds like many of us should be reading it. I have added to my TBR. Thank you. ❤
You’re welcome, Debby, and welcome back. Hope your time away from the keyboard was refreshing. I’m sure we’re in for some amazing posts based on your recent experiences. Can’t wait!
Thanks for the warm welcome Ann. Correction: – I was back, lol. I’m gone again to the beautiful Arizona desert, but much more accessible from here. There will me more from me and my travels. 🙂
I have a great respect for writers and different perspectives. I may not read this but am happy this has been published and will pray the Middle East can come to a compromise and Peace. Amen to this centuries long struggle! No side is perfect nor innocent, in this case. We have to say “we” in America aren’t able to claim we have Peace either!
True that! Peace evades America just as it does the Middle East. I know one day we will live in universal peace, but to get to that point will take people, praying for good to overthrow evil, praying for right to triumph over wrong, praying for all superficial barriers to be forever removed. Peace, sweet peace…ahhhh, isn’t that the goal?!
Yes, peace is the only answer to freedom and a truly special future for our descendants, Ann. ❤ prayer is helpful and sharing beliefs and faith. Together we can make it happen. Peace would be so sweet, you're right about this! 🙂
The sad part is that those people who ought to be reading this book would surely not bother because it would disturb their perception and notions of Arabs.Still, I appreciate learning about this book and will put it on my TBR list. 🙂
Agreed, Carol. Let me know what you think once you’ve read it. I should also warn you that there are parts that will upset or disturb you. It took me longer than usual to read this book because of the injustices. But I finished it and am glad I did. It’s a great educational read. Have a blessed week.