Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Books: The Arab Americans: A History

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Books: The Arab Americans: A History

Article excerpt

Books: The Arab Americans: A History

Books

The Arab Americans: A History

By Gregory Orfalea, Olive Branch Press, 2006, 500 pp. List: $45; AET: $36.

Reviewed by Aisha Saber

POET GREGORY Orfalea's latest book is a comprehensive account of Arab immigration to the United States since the mid-19th century-their arduous journey to this country and their attempt to incorporate their new American identity with their Arab heritage. In interviews with 140 Arab Americans over a period of more than 25 years, Orfalea presents an intimate world that is nostalgic and memorable for Arab Americans, and comprehensible and accessible to non-Arab readers.

Orfalea's experience with and description of the Middle East, Arabs, and Arab culture enable the reader to gain an appreciation and fondness for Arab culture and peoples. He succeeds in capturing the essence, captivating intrigue, and beauty of the Middle East, as well as the childhood memories, photo albums and songs that resonate throughout the life of Arab Americans, even those born here, as was this reviewer.

Covering the past century's three waves of Arab immigration to the U. …

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