When we were Arabs: a Jewish family's forgotten history

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The stunning debut of a brilliant nonfiction writer whose vivid account of his grandparents’ lives in Egypt, Tunisia, Palestine, and Los Angeles reclaims his family’s Jewish Arab identity

There was a time when being an “Arab” didn’t mean you were necessarily Muslim. It was a time when Oscar Hayoun, a Jewish Arab, strode along the Nile in a fashionable suit, long before he and his father arrived at the port of Haifa to join the Zionist state only to find themselves hosed down with DDT and then left unemployed on the margins of society. In that time, Arabness was a mark of cosmopolitanism, of intellectualism. Today, in the age of the Likud and ISIS, Oscar’s son, the Jewish Arab journalist Massoud Hayoun whom Oscar raised in Los Angeles, finds his voice by telling his family’s story.

To reclaim a worldly, nuanced Arab identity is, for Hayoun, part of the larger project to recall a time before ethnic identity was mangled for political ends. It is also a journey deep into a lost age of sophisticated innocence in the Arab world; an age that is now nearly lost.

When We Were Arabs showcases the gorgeous prose of the Eppy Award–winning writer Massoud Hayoun, bringing the worlds of his grandparents alive, vividly shattering our contemporary understanding of what makes an Arab, what makes a Jew, and how we draw the lines over which we do battle.

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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 4a1b2184-c9b0-0b97-5f22-cc71150328e6
Grouping Title when we were arabs a jewish familys forgotten history
Grouping Author hayoun massoud
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-08-23 04:38:34AM
Last Indexed 2019-08-24 04:41:40AM

Solr Details

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author Hayoun, Massoud,
author_display Hayoun, Massoud
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isbn 9781620974162
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington 305.8924 HAYOU
local_time_since_added_arlington 2 Months
Six Months
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Aurora Hills
Columbia Pike
Connection Crystal City
Detention Center
Local History
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primary_isbn 9781620974162
publishDate 2019
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ils:.b20665970 Book Books English New Press, [2019] 274 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm.
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subject_facet Cultural fusion -- Egypt
Hayoun, Massoud -- Childhood and youth
Jews -- Identity
Mizrahim -- Biography
North Africans -- Egypt -- Biography
title_display When we were Arabs : a Jewish family's forgotten history
title_full When we were Arabs : a Jewish family's forgotten history / Massoud Hayoun
title_short When we were Arabs :
title_sub a Jewish family's forgotten history