How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? by Moustafa Bayoumi
Being Young and Arab in America

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Synopsis

An eye-opening look at how young Arab- and Muslim- Americans are forging lives for themselves in a country that often mistakes them for the enemy

Just over a century ago , W.E.B. Du Bois posed a probing question in his classic The Souls of Black Folk: How does it feel to be a problem? Now, Moustafa Bayoumi asks the same about America's new "problem"-Arab- and Muslim-Americans. Bayoumi takes readers into the lives of seven twenty-somethings living in Brooklyn, home to the largest Arab-American population in the United States. He moves beyond stereotypes and clichés to reveal their often unseen struggles, from being subjected to government surveillance to the indignities of workplace discrimination. Through it all, these young men and women persevere through triumphs and setbacks as they help weave the tapestry of a new society that is, at its heart, purely American.
 

About Moustafa Bayoumi

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Moustafa Bayoumi was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and raised in Canada. He earned his Ph.D. at Columbia University and is an associate professor of English at Brooklyn College, the City University of New York. He is coeditor of The Edward Said Reader, and his essays have appeared in The Best Music Writing 2006, The Nation, The London Review of Books, The Village Voice, and other publications.
 
Published August 14, 2008 by Penguin Press HC, The. 304 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

Kirkus Reviews

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Visiting Akram at the family-run East Flatbush grocery store where he worked for his father (while attending college fulltime), the author observed an intimacy that transcended race between the Palestinian-American proprietors and their West Indian and African-American customers.

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Publishers Weekly

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According to Bayoumi (The Edward Said Reader ), for most of its history, American society has paid little attention to its Arab and Muslim citizens—until th

May 26 2008 | Read Full Review of How Does It Feel to Be a Prob...

Publishers Weekly

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According to Bayoumi (The Edward Said Reader ), for most of its history, American society has paid little attention to its Arab and Muslim citizens—until the events of September 11 thrust millions of uninvolved people into a very unfavorable limelight, often forcing them to answer for the monstro...

May 26 2008 | Read Full Review of How Does It Feel to Be a Prob...

NPR

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In his new book, How Does It Feel To Be A Problem? Moustafa Bayoumi profiles seven young Brooklyn residents of Arab and Muslim heritage, detailing the obstacles they've faced since Sept. 11.

Sep 16 2008 | Read Full Review of How Does It Feel to Be a Prob...

Oprah.com

Seeking consolation in a shaky world, Arab-American writer Naomi Shihab Nye finds wisdom in the melodies and memories of the people she loves.

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Oprah.com

Rami is typical of the young Muslims whose faith grew more fervent in the wake of 9/11, just as Lina, born in Kuwait to Iraqi parents, represents the many Arabs who travel back and forth from their adopted country to their homeland, living "somewhere between geographies."

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