Building a New FutureEdited by Michael W. Suleiman
For many North Americans, Arab-Americans are invisible, recalled only when words like "terrorism" or "anti-American sentiments" arise. However, people of Arab descent have been contributing to U.S. and Canadian culture since the 1870's in fields as diverse as literature, science, politics, medicine, and commercewitness surgeon Michael DeBakey, former Oregon governor Victor Atiyeh, consumer advocate Ralph Nader, and Canadian M.P. Mac Harb. Yet, while Arab-American contributions to our society are significant and Arab-Americans surpass the U.S. average in both education and economics, they still struggle for recognition and acceptance.
In this volume, editor Michael Suleiman brings together 21 prominent scholars from a wide range of perspectivesincluding anthropology, economics, history, law, literature and culture, political science, and sociologyto take a close look at the status of Arabs in North America. Topics range from the career of Arab-American singer, dancer, and storyteller Wadeeha Atiyeh to a historical examination of Arab-Americans and Zionism. The contributors discuss an assortment of different communitiesa Palestinian refugee community in Detroit, a group of well-educated Jordanian men, and the Shi'a Muslimsin order to illustrate the range of Arab émigré experience. More broadly, they examine Arabs in the legal system, youth and family, health and welfare, as well as Arab-American identity, political activism, and attempts by Arab immigrants to achieve respect and recognition in their new homes. They address both the present situation for Arab-Americans and prospects for their future.
Arabs in America will engage anyone interested in Arab-American studies, ethnic studies, and American studies.
"The publication of this dense, rich, and detailed 355-page book, which contains a fine collection of studies, is therefore a welcome and valuable addition to the existing literature. ...this book fills an important gap and should be on the reading list of any course on ethnic relations."
—Journal of International Migration and Integration
"...important, challenging collection of essays. ...There is much new and compelling material in this anthology. ...No one has a better grasp of the occasionally odd, even bizarre experience of Americans of Arab extraction than Michael Suleiman."
—Journal of Palestinian Studies
"...this work is generally a valuable addition to the growing literature on Arabs in the United States...and Canada."
—Journal of American Ethnic History
"This new collection moves scholarship on Arab Americans well beyond traditional accounts of immigrant adaptation to American society. Arab Americans, as many contributors lament, have been marginal to narratives of multiculturalism in America. But this current research points to the relevance of Arab Americans to our understandings of immigrant-host society relationships, racial hierarchies, and ideologies of citizenship."
—Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies