Praise

“A masterpiece that reads with the same themes of complexity and romance, pain and longing, that are indigenous to the land of his grandparents, and the entwined Arab and Jewish identity that flourishes on every page of this book.”

—Khaled Beydoun, law professor and author of American Islamophobia
When We Were Arabs wonderfully braids cultural history, memoir, poetics, and politics into a completely unexpected but necessary artistic intervention destined to obliterate our brittle understandings of what is Jewish, Arab, and radically loving. The book is as good as it is important.”

—Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
“A rare, multifaceted book that dares tell the story of the Arab Jew as it was without propaganda or prejudice and which chronicles how the nuance that had been there in Jewish Arab political identities disappeared under the onslaught of Zionism.”

—Raja Shehadeh, author of Palestinian Walks and Where the Line Is Drawn
When We Were Arabs is not only a deeply researched account of one family’s North African history, but one of the best books available on the postcolonial foundations of contemporary Arab American identity. It is nothing short of a triumph.”

—Moustafa Bayoumi, author of This Muslim American Life and How Does It Feel to Be a Problem
“A stunning piece of storytelling, a necessary work of history, and in its portraiture of a lost world, its corniches populated with the great singers and film stars of old, it is a work of poetry.”

—Safia Elhillo, author of The January Children
“A beautifully written, compelling argument for compassion, solidarity, and love, in a time where they are so woefully scarce.”

—Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking

 

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