Just a few short days of summer reading left for me. I snuck in another book as I’ve been gearing up for classes.
How Does it Feel to Be a Problem?, Moustafa Bayoumi (290 pp).
Through a series of engrossing portraits of young Arab-American Muslims, Bayoumi offers an aptly complicated and conflicted answer to the question WEB Dubois asked of blacks during the Jim Crow days: ”How does it feel to be a problem?” Arab is the new black since 9/11, in a sense, and Bayoumi asks young men and women, who came of age after the attacks, how their heritage and their religion interacts with a basically anti-Islamic, racist-as-ever mainstream America–but my recap is much more heavy-handed than the book itself is, though it isn’t shy about its polarizingly political topic. This is a quick, deeply satisfying read that gave me some new perspectives on US international politics (which is deeply personal when the other nation in question is your native country) and, particularly, receptions and consequences of 9/11. Highly recommended.