Books on our Minds: Fall 2018

Modern HERstory

Be inspired and celebrate 70 women, girls, and gender nonbinary people who have changed--and are still changing--the world, from the Civil Rights Movement and Stonewall riots through Black Lives Matter and beyond.  Linda Sarsour, Manal al-Sharif, Mona Haydar, & Amani Al-Khatahtbeh all have Roots in the Middle East. 

Blair Imani

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay

Darius doesn't think he'll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a new voice in contemporary YA. 

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Women and Gender in Iraq
Between Nation-Building and Fragmentation

Since the US-led invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the challenges of sectarianism and militarism have weighed heavily on the women of Iraq. In this book, Zahra Ali foregrounds a wide-range of interviews with a variety of women involved in women's rights activism, showing how everyday life and intellectual life has developed since the US-led invasion. Additionally, Ali offers historical research of social, economic and political contexts since the formation of the Iraqi state in the 1920s. Through a transnational and postcolonial feminist approach, the book considers the ways in which gender norms and practices, Iraqi feminist discourses, and activisms are shaped and developed through state politics, competing nationalisms, religious, tribal and sectarian dynamics, wars, and economic sanctions. The result is a vivid account of the everyday life in today's Iraq and an exceptional analysis of the future of Iraqi feminisms. 

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I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir

I Was Their American Dream is at once a journal of growing up and a reminder of the thousands of immigrants who come to America in search for a better life for themselves and their children.

Malaka Gharib

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The Limits of Whiteness: Iranian Americans and the Everyday Politics of Race

In The Limits of Whiteness, Neda Maghbouleh offers a groundbreaking, timely look at how Iranians and other Middle Eastern Americans move across the color line.  Neda Maghbouleh documents Iranian Americans' shifting racial status. Drawing on never-before-analyzed historical and legal evidence, she captures the unique experience of an immigrant group trapped between legal racial invisibility and everyday racial hyper-visibility. Her findings are essential for understanding the unprecedented challenge Middle Easterners now face under "extreme vetting" and potential reclassification out of the "white" box. For the first time, Maghbouleh tells the compelling, often heartbreaking story of how a white American immigrant group can become brown and what such a transformation says about race in America.

Neda Maghbouleh

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If They Come For Us

In this powerful and imaginative debut poetry collection, Fatimah Asghar nakedly captures the experiences of being a young Pakistani Muslim woman in America by braiding together personal and marginalized people's histories. After being orphaned as a young girl, Asghar grapples with coming-of-age as a woman without the guidance of a mother, questions of sexuality and race, and navigating a world that put a target on her back. Using experimental forms and a mix of lyrical and brash language, Asghar confronts her own understanding of identity and place and belonging. 

Fatima Asghar

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Two Sisters: A Father, His Daughters, and Their Journey into the Syrian Jihad

Two Sisters tells the story of a family divided by faith. Somali immigrants raising a family in Norway, one day discover that their teenage daughters have vanished--and are en route to Syria to aid the Islamic State. Asne Seierstad's traces the sisters' journey from secular, social democratic Norway to the front lines of the war in Syria and follows their father’s harrowing attempt to find them.  Seierstad puts the problem of radicalization into painfully human terms, using instant messages and other primary sources to reconstruct a family's crisis from the inside. Two Sisters is a relentless thriller and a feat of reporting with profound lessons about belief, extremism, and the meaning of devotion.

Asne Seierstad

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Money, Markets, and Monarchies: The Gulf Cooperation Council and the Political Economy of the Contemporary Middle East

Framed by a critical analysis of global capitalism, this book examines how the six states of the Gulf Cooperation Council are powerfully shaping the political economy of the wider Middle East. Through unprecedented and fine-grained empirical research - encompassing sectors such as agribusiness, real estate, finance, retail, telecommunications, and urban utilities - Adam Hanieh lays out the pivotal role of the Gulf in the affairs of other Arab states. This vital but little recognised feature of the Middle East's political economy is essential to understanding contemporary regional dynamics, not least of which is the emergence of significant internal tensions within the Gulf itself. Bringing fresh insights and a novel interdisciplinary approach to debates across political economy, critical geography, and Middle East studies, this book fills an important gap in how we understand the region and its place in the global order.

Adam Hanieh

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Salt Houses

Lyrical and heartbreaking, Salt Houses is a remarkable 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.

Hala Alyan

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No Turning Back Life: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria

Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that show how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters.

Rania Abouzeid

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