Did y’all know that April is Arab-American Heritage Month?
I definitely didn’t. Apparently, it was only made official last year, although it’s been celebrated since 2017.
One of my favorite things about curating this bookish space on the internet is that I get to learn things and illuminate my blind spots publicly, sharing what I find with all of you. As it turns out, Arab-America is a big one for me.
I didn’t know many people of Arab heritage until I left the US and went to the UK. Embarrassingly enough, I can only recall reading one book by an Arab-American author before, which was Hisham D. Aidi’s excellent exploration of music in Islamic youth culture, Rebel Music.
So, that’s the April challenge. Let’s try to read something by an Arab-American. Bonus challenge–try to make it something joyous and lively, not just a war/oppression tale.
I’m way out of my area of knowledge here so I have nothing to really recommend. I did put together a very general booklist to get us started. I’ll probably start with Etaf Rum’s Palestinian-American generational epic, A Woman Is No Man because I’ve had a copy for ages.
But other than that? This is a month where we’re going to be doing some learning together, I think.
Anyone got any recommendations for good books by Arab-Americans? What are you reading for this challenge?