“I tried to tell him that the bigots and racists had always been there, and he said he’d honestly never seen them like this, that he never thought they could be like this, and I said yes, I know. I said that’s how privilege works.”
AVLEOS is a YA semi-autobiography of the author, Tahereh Mafi, about a hijabi girl, Shirin who lives in the United States after the event of 9/11. The book centres around her struggles after 9/11 incident, racism, islamophobia and eventually her numbness from the cruelty she had to face. This book will move you and perhaps make you feel uncomfortable since some of the incidents are based on the author’s personal experience, but it’s also mix of lightweight young adult story. A story about first love, learning and unlearning from one another. Mafi’s writing is simple and beautiful. The intensity and emotions; anger, frustrations, sadness, empathy, etc really got me every single time.
- Azzah Farras
It’s Not About The Burqa by Mariam Khan (editor)
Publication Date: 02-21-2019
It’s Not About the Burqa is a compilation of essays written by 17 Muslim women, discussing about women’s rights in Islam (that a lot of us may be oblivious about), what it means to be a Muslim woman who uses her voice in a racist world, and ending patriarchy within and outside the Muslim community. The book reveals a lot of information inclusive of some hadiths and Quranic lessons in which women are uplifted as how it really should be according to the true (non-biased) Islamic teachings.
This book highlights big themes such as feminism in Islam, intersectional feminism vs white feminism, racism, islamophobia, representation, humility, family, sexuality, marriage and many more. Deeply intelligent and thought-provoking.
- Azzah Farras
Rahman, one of the three Interfaith Amigos who have collaborated on two books, is a Muslim Sufi minister in Seattle, and he compiles "gems" of Islamic spirituality. He cites short verses from the Qur'an, hadith (sayings of Muhammad), and Sufi poets, especially the popular 13th century mystic Rumi; he then offers exposition that teases out the meaning and application of the verse and concludes with short suggestions for spiritual practices. Rahman's frame of reference is Sufism, the mystical school of Islam, so his focus is devotional. Yet he is skilled at weaving anecdotes from his everyday experiences into his discussion of Islamic teachings. Those who appreciate the poet Rumi will be able to locate their literary understanding in a religious context. And non-Muslims can learn Islam's 99 names--attributes--of God, listed in an appendix, a short but powerful devotional and theological lesson.
How does a father pass on to his two sons the essential elements of moderate Islam? Ghobash (ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Russia) does so through a number of letters addressing particular subjects relating to the faith. The author is concerned that his sons understand that genuine Islam is a religion of peace and openness; one that engages with people from different political, religious, and cultural backgrounds. He stresses that radical Islam, with its hatred of the West and its embrace of violence, does not represent the true character of Islamic teachings and practice. To readers who are outside observers of these messages delivered through letters, Ghobash provides a perspective on the religion that has not received much attention in American media in the last couple of decades. He also gives a vision of a possible future where moderate Islam is dominant and is a positive force in the world. VERDICT A useful work for anyone who has an interest in Islam as well as college students writing on the religion in general or its social and political elements.
- John Jaeger
Al-Hassani (mechanical engineering, emeritus, Univ. of Manchester, UK) is chairman of the Foundation of Science, Technology and Civilisation in Manchester, England, which created the 1001 Inventions exhibit at the California Science Center in Los Angeles. The official companion to the exhibit, this book addresses the problem of the lack of awareness on the part of many Westerners of how Muslims have contributed to world civilization. It provides a high-quality catalog of technologies invented by Muslims, starting from the early days of Islam and extending through the modern age, divided into seven categories: home, school, market, hospital, town, world, and universe. Chapters are complete with highlights of each invention, biographical information on the luminaries who created them, and several fun-color drawings, photographs, or detailed diagrams of complex devices. Significant quotations and helpful sidebars complement the main text. Researchers will fred particularly useful the reference section, which lists additional scholarly resources on each invention. Also included are a helpful index and a glossary of Arabic terms. VERDICT Available in Arabic and Turkish, this book will spark the interest of general readers, students, and scholars alike.
- Justin Parrott
Revive Your Heart – written by American Muslim Nouman Ali Khan – is an indispensable book, offering guidance that is both bold and heartfelt to modern Muslims navigating their way through a life that is ever more destabilizing.
Winner of the California Book Award Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist for the National Book Award "Beautiful and absorbing."--New York Times An Unnecessary Woman is a breathtaking portrait of one reclusive woman's late-life crisis, which garnered a wave of rave reviews and love letters to Alameddine's cranky yet charming septuagenarian protagonist, Aaliya, a character you "can't help but love" (NPR). Aaliya's insightful musings on literature, philosophy, and art are invaded by memories of the Lebanese Civil War and her volatile past. As she tries to overcome her aging body and spontaneous emotional upwellings, Aaliya is faced with an unthinkable disaster that threatens to shatter the little life she has left. Here, the gifted Rabih Alameddine has given us a nuanced rendering of one woman's life in the Middle East and an enduring ode to literature and its power to define who we are. "A paean to the transformative power of reading, to the intellectual asylum from one's circumstances found in the life of the mind."--LA Review of Books "[The novel] throbs with energy...[Aaliya's] inventive way with words gives unfailing pleasure, no matter how dark the events she describes, how painful the emotions she reveals."--Washington Post
Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one's truest self.
A uniquely American story told in powerful, evocative prose, The Beauty of Your Face navigates a country growing ever more divided. Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants, is the principal of Nurrideen School for Girls, a Muslim school in the Chicago suburbs. One morning, a shooter--radicalized by the online alt-right--attacks the school.As Afaf listens to his terrifying progress, we are swept back through her memories: the bigotry she faced as a child, her mother's dreams of returning to Palestine, and the devastating disappearance of her older sister that tore her family apart. Still, there is the sweetness of the music from her father's oud, and the hope and community Afaf finally finds in Islam.The Beauty of Your Face is a profound and poignant exploration of one woman's life in a nation at odds with its ideals, an emotionally rich novel that encourages us to reflect on our shared humanity. If others take the time to really see us, to look into our face, they will find something indelibly familiar, something achingly beautiful gazing back.
"A portrait of growing up in America, and a portrait of family, that pulls off the feat of being both intimately specific and deeply universal at the same time. I adored this book."-Jonny Sun " A high-spirited graphical memoir . . . Gharib's wisdom about the power and limits of racial identity is evident in the way she draws."-NPR WINNER OF THE ARAB AMERICAN BOOK AWARD . NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR . The New York Public Library . Kirkus Reviews I Was Their American Dreamis at once acoming-of-age storyand a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children. The daughter of parents with unfulfilled dreams themselves, Malaka navigated her childhood chasing her parents' ideals, learning to code-switch between her family's Filipino and Egyptian customs, adapting to white culture to fit in, crushing on skater boys, and trying to understand the tension between holding onto cultural values and trying to be an all-American kid. Malaka Gharib'striumphant graphic memoir bringsto life her teenage antics and illuminatesearnest questions about identity and culture, while providing thoughtful insight into the lives of modern immigrants and the generation of millennial children they raised. Malaka'sstory is a heartfelt tribute to the American immigrants who have invested their future in the promise of the American dream. Praise for I Was Their American Dream "In this time when immigration is such a hot topic, Malaka Gharib puts an engaging human face on the issue. . . . The push and pull first-generation kids feel is portrayed with humor and love, especially humor. . . . Gharib pokes fun at all of the cultures she lives in, able to see each of them with an outsider's wry eye, while appreciating them with an insider's close experience. . . .The question of 'What are you?' has never been answered with so much charm."-Marissa Moss, New York Journal of Books "Forthright and funny, Gharib fiercely claims her own American dream."-Booklist "Thoughtful and relatable, this touching account should be shared across generations."- Library Journal "This charming graphic memoir riffs on the joys and challenges of developing a unique ethnic identity."- Publishers Weekly
Named a Best Political Book of the Year by The Atlantic "This Is What America Looks Like is the origin story of a leader who, finding no set path that would take a person like her to the places she wanted to go, was forced, and free, to chart her own." -The New York Times Book Review "Ilhan has been an inspiring figure well before her time in Congress. This book will give you insight into the person and sister that I see--passionate, caring, witty, and above all committed to positive change. It's an honor to serve alongside her in the fight for a more just world." --Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez An intimate and rousing memoir by progressive trailblazer Ilhan Omar--the first African refugee, the first Somali-American, and one of the first Muslim women, elected to Congress. Ilhan Omar was only eight years old when war broke out in Somalia. The youngest of seven children, her mother had died while Ilhan was still a little girl. She was being raised by her father and grandfather when armed gunmen attacked their compound and the family decided to flee Mogadishu. They ended up in a refugee camp in Kenya, where Ilhan says she came to understand the deep meaning of hunger and death. Four years later, after a painstaking vetting process, her family achieved refugee status and arrived in Arlington, Virginia. Aged twelve, penniless, speaking only Somali and having missed out on years of schooling, Ilhan rolled up her sleeves, determined to find her American dream. Faced with the many challenges of being an immigrant and a refugee, she questioned stereotypes and built bridges with her classmates and in her community. In under two decades she became a grassroots organizer, graduated from college and was elected to congress with a record-breaking turnout by the people of Minnesota--ready to keep pushing boundaries and restore moral clarity in Washington D.C. A beacon of positivity in dark times, Congresswoman Omar has weathered many political storms and yet maintained her signature grace, wit and love of country--all the while speaking up for her beliefs. Similarly, in chronicling her remarkable personal journey, Ilhan is both lyrical and unsentimental, and her irrepressible spirit, patriotism, friendship and faith are visible on every page. As a result, This is What America Looks Like is both the inspiring coming of age story of a refugee and a multidimensional tale of the hopes and aspirations, disappointments and failures, successes, sacrifices and surprises, of a devoted public servant with unshakable faith in the promise of America.
Winner of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize and the Arab American Book Award Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR * Nylon * Kirkus Reviews * Bustle * BookPage "Moving and beautifully written." -- Entertainment Weekly On the eve of her daughter Alia's wedding, Salma reads the girl's future in a cup of coffee dregs. She sees an unsettled life for Alia and her children; she also sees travel, and luck. While she chooses to keep her predictions to herself that day, they will all soon come to pass when the family is uprooted in the wake of the Six-Day War of 1967. Salma is forced to leave her home in Nablus; Alia's brother gets pulled into a politically militarized world he can't escape; and Alia and her gentle-spirited husband move to Kuwait City, where they reluctantly build a life with their three children. When Saddam Hussein invades Kuwait in 1990, Alia and her family once again lose their home, their land, and their story as they know it, scattering to Beirut, Paris, Boston, and beyond. Soon Alia's children begin families of their own, once again navigating the burdens (and blessings) of assimilation in foreign cities. Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable debut novel that challenges and humanizes an age-old conflict we might think we understand--one that asks us to confront that most devastating of all truths: you can't go home again.
Location: Koerner Library
FINALIST FOR THE BOOKER PRIZE & WINNER OF THE L.A. TIMES BOOK PRIZE FOR FICTION and THE ASPEN WORDS LITERARY PRIZE "It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future... At once terrifying and ... oddly hopeful." --Ayelet Waldman, The New York Times Book Review "Moving, audacious, and indelibly human." --Entertainment Weekly, "A" rating The New York Times bestselling novel: an astonishingly visionary love story that imagines the forces that drive ordinary people from their homes into the uncertain embrace of new lands, from the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and the forthcoming The Last White Man. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet--sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair, and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors--doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. . . . Exit West follows these remarkable characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Location: Okanagan & Koerner Library
A "profound and provocative" new work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Disgraced and American Dervish: an immigrant father and his son search for belonging--in post-Trump America, and with each other (Kirkus Reviews). One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year One of Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2020 Finalist for the 2021 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction A Best Book of 2020 * Washington Post * O Magazine * New York Times Book Review * Publishers Weekly "Passionate, disturbing, unputdownable." --Salman Rushdie A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home. Ayad Akhtar forges a new narrative voice to capture a country in which debt has ruined countless lives and the gods of finance rule, where immigrants live in fear, and where the nation's unhealed wounds wreak havoc around the world. Akhtar attempts to make sense of it all through the lens of a story about one family, from a heartland town in America to palatial suites in Central Europe to guerrilla lookouts in the mountains of Afghanistan, and spares no one--least of all himself--in the process.
An illustrated book on the refugee crisis that will break your heart in under 48 pages, from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author of The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed. "Intensely moving. . .Powerfully evocative of the plight in which displaced populations find themselves."- Kirkus, STARRED Review "Hosseini's story, aimed at readers of all ages, does not dwell on nightmarish fates; instead, its emotional power flows from the love of a father for his son."- Publishers Weekly, STARRED BOX Review A short, powerful, illustrated book written by beloved novelist Khaled Hosseini in response to the current refugee crisis, Sea Prayer is composed in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey. Watching over his sleeping son, the father reflects on the dangerous sea-crossing that lies before them. It is also a vivid portrait of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city's swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone. Impelled to write this story by the haunting image of young Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed upon the beach in Turkey in September 2015, Hosseini hopes to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Kurdi's, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution, and he will donate author proceeds from this book to the UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe. Khaled Hosseini is one of the most widely read writers in the world, with more than fifty-five million copies of his novels sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. Hosseini is also a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a nonprofit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.
Location: Koerner Library
A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick! Finalist for the 2020 National Book Award (Fiction) One of Barack Obama's Summer Favorites A Best Book of the Year From: The Washington Post * Time * NPR * Elle * Esquire * Kirkus * Library Journal * The Chicago Public Library * The New York Public Library * BookPage * The Globe and Mail * EW.com * The LA Times * USA Today * InStyle * The New Yorker * AARP * Publisher's Lunch * LitHub * Book Marks * Electric Literature * Brooklyn Based * The Boston Globe A magnetic novel about two families, strangers to each other, who are forced together on a long weekend gone terribly wrong. From the bestselling author of Rich and Pretty comes a suspenseful and provocative novel keenly attuned to the complexities of parenthood, race, and class. Leave the World Behind explores how our closest bonds are reshaped--and unexpected new ones are forged--in moments of crisis. Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: a quiet reprieve from life in New York City, quality time with their teenage son and daughter, and a taste of the good life in the luxurious home they've rented for the week. But a late-night knock on the door breaks the spell. Ruth and G. H. are an older couple--it's their house, and they've arrived in a panic. They bring the news that a sudden blackout has swept the city. But in this rural area--with the TV and internet now down, and no cell phone service--it's hard to know what to believe. Should Amanda and Clay trust this couple--and vice versa? What happened back in New York? Is the vacation home, isolated from civilization, a truly safe place for their families? And are they safe from one other?
Location: Koerner Library
Winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Fiction Winner of the ALA Stonewall Book Award--Barbara Gittings Literature Award Named Best Book of the Year by Bustle Named Most Anticipated Book of the Year by The Millions, Electric Literature, and HuffPost From the award-winning author of The Map of Salt and Stars, a new novel about three generations of Syrian Americans haunted by a mysterious species of bird and the truths they carry close to their hearts--a "vivid exploration of loss, art, queer and trans communities, and the persistence of history. Often tender, always engrossing, The Thirty Names of Night is a feat" (R.O. Kwon, author of The Incendiaries). Five years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. As his grandmother's sole caretaker, he spends his days cooped up in their apartment, avoiding his neighborhood masjid, his estranged sister, and even his best friend (who also happens to be his longtime crush). The only time he feels truly free is when he slips out at night to paint murals on buildings in the once-thriving Manhattan neighborhood known as Little Syria, but he's been struggling ever since his mother's ghost began visiting him each evening. One night, he enters the abandoned community house and finds the tattered journal of a Syrian American artist named Laila Z, who dedicated her career to painting birds. She mysteriously disappeared more than sixty years before, but her journal contains proof that both his mother and Laila Z encountered the same rare bird before their deaths. In fact, Laila Z's past is intimately tied to his mother's in ways he never could have expected. Even more surprising, Laila Z's story reveals the histories of queer and transgender people within his own community that he never knew. Realizing that he isn't and has never been alone, he has the courage to claim a new name: Nadir, an Arabic name meaning rare. As unprecedented numbers of birds are mysteriously drawn to the New York City skies, Nadir enlists the help of his family and friends to unravel what happened to Laila Z and the rare bird his mother died trying to save. Following his mother's ghost, he uncovers the silences kept in the name of survival by his own community, his own family, and within himself, and discovers the family that was there all along. Featuring Zeyn Joukhadar's signature "folkloric, lyrical, and emotionally intense...gorgeous and alive" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) storytelling, The Thirty Names of Night is a "stunning...vivid, visceral, and urgent" (Booklist, starred review) exploration of loss, memory, migration, and identity.
Location: Koerner Library
A bold new voice from Saudi Arabia spins a fascinating tale of four young women attempting to navigate the narrow straits between love, desire, fulfillment, and Islamic tradition In her debut novel Rajaa Alsanea reveals the social, romantic, and sexual tribulations of four young women from the elite classes of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Originally released in Arabic in 2005, it was immediately banned in Saudi Arabia because of the controversial and inflammatory content, while black-market copies of the novel were widely circulated. The daring originality of Girls of Riyadhcontinues to create a firestorm all over the Arab world, and the excitement has spread far beyond the Middle East-to date, rights to this novel have already been sold in eleven countries. The novel unfolds as every week after Friday prayers, the anonymous narrator sends an e-mail to the female subscribers of her online chat group. In fifty such e-mails over the course of a year, we witness the tragicomic reality of four university students-Qamra, Michelle, Sadim, and Lamis-negotiating their love lives, their professional success, and their rebellions, large and small, against their cultural traditions. The world these women inhabit is a modern one that contains "Sex and the City," dating, and sneaking out of their parents' houses, and this affluent, contemporary existence causes the girls to collide endlessly with the ancient customs of their society. The never-ending cultural conflicts underscore the tumult of being an educated modern woman growing up in the twenty-first century amid a culture firmly rooted in an ancient way of life. While this novel offers a distinctly Arab voice, it also represents the mongrel culture and language of a globalized world, reflecting the way in which the Arab world is being changed by new economic and political realities. Riyadh is the larger setting of the novel, but the characters travel all over the world shedding traditional garb as they literally and figuratively cross over into Western society. These women understand the Western worldview and experiment with reconciling pieces of it with their own. But this groundbreaking novel might be the very first that opens up their world to us-their culture, their struggles, their frustrations, their hopes, and their beliefs. With Girls of Riyadh, Rajaa Alsanea gives us a rare and unforgettable insight into the complicated lives of these young Saudi women whose amazing stories are unfolding in a culture so very different from our own.
Location: Koerner Library
National Book Award WINNER Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature WINNER An INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! An INSTANT INDIE BESTSELLER! "All My Rage is a love story, a tragedy and an infectious teenage fever dream about what home means when you feel you don't fit in." -- New York Times Book Review From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents. Lahore, Pakistan. Then. Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Clouds' Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start. Juniper, California. Now. Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding. Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah's health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle's liquor store while hiding the fact that she's applying to college so she can escape him--and Juniper--forever. When Sal's attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth--and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst. From one of today's most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness--one that's both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity. (Cover may vary)
Location: Education Library
FINALIST FOR THE 2022 PEN/FAULKNER AWARD FOR FICTION FINALIST FOR PUBLISHING TRIANGLE'S EDMUND WHITE DEBUT FICTION AWARD In the last weeks of her pregnancy, a Muslim Indian lesbian living in San Francisco receives a visit from her estranged mother and sister that surfaces long held secrets and betrayals in this"sweeping family saga . . .with the beautiful specificity of real lives lived, loved, and fought for" (Entertainment Weekly) Working as a consultant for Kamala Harris's attorney general campaign in Obama-era San Francisco, Seema has constructed a successful life for herself in the West, despite still struggling with her father's long-ago decision to exile her from the family after she came out as lesbian. Now, nine months pregnant and estranged from the Black father of her unborn son, Seema seeks solace in the company of those she once thought lost to her- her ailing mother, Nafeesa, traveling alone to California from Chennai, and her devoutly religious sister, Tahera, a doctor living in Texas with her husband and children. But instead of a joyful reconciliation anticipating the birth of a child, the events of this fateful week unearth years of betrayal, misunderstanding, and complicated layers of love-a tapestry of emotions as riveting and disparate as the era itself. Told from the point of view of Seema's child at the moment of his birth, and infused with the poetry of Wordsworth and Keats and verses from the Quran, Radiant Fugitives is a moving tale of a family and a country grappling with acceptance, forgiveness, and enduring love.
Location: Koerner Library