Naber, Nadine. “Arab America: Gender, Cultural Politics and Activism”, NYU Press, 2012.
One of the most misunderstood communities in America is that of the Arab Americans and especially so since 9/11. Many look at and think of them with fear without really knowing anything about them and what Nadine Naber does is tells us the stories of second generation Arab Americans living in the San Francisco Bay area. The people she tells us about contain political activists who are concerned with the conditions of how they live in what they consider to be the Arab Diaspora and this is the Muslim global justice movement. She also looks at the Leftist Arab movement. Naber writes from the perspective of a transnational feminist and she shows us that often the political and cultural processes through which American Arabs have shown who they are has an effect on the way they live. Her study concentrates on religion, gender and sexuality as they are the problems that young Muslims deal with here in the United States and in many cases they are not really very different from the problems that all young Americans deal with. Young Arab Americans reject traditional Oriental thought as they do the same for imperialism and nationalism as they look at self.
In today’s world with the problems of immigration, we must also consider issues of racial justice, American militarism and war as well as religion, gender and sexuality.
The study of Arab Americans is a relatively new discipline which was not really necessary until the 9/11 terrorist attack put Arab Americans in the national and world spotlight. Naber presents a historical overview and an ethnographic study of this misunderstood community and we see the struggles of a people who really try to exert who they are in a country that is just not sure how it feels about them. The picture is complex especially because Arab Americans feel that they are unwanted here and they are unsure of how to present who they are. They live tense lives because of the hyphen in their classification and their sense of identity is unclear to them.
- Posted in: GLBT non-fiction