Moustafa Bayoumi is the author of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America.
From a Q & A at his publisher's website:
Can you explain the significance of your book’s title?Visit Moustafa Bayoumi's website.
It comes from W.E.B. Du Bois’s 1903 classic The Souls of Black Folk. In that book, Du Bois was determined to counteract the hatreds of the Jim Crow-era by pulling back the “veil” separating black and white Americans. He wanted to show his readers a fuller, more accurate picture of the black experience, including “the meaning of its religion, the passion of its human sorrow, and the struggle of its greater souls.” And he also understood that the treatment of African Americans was really a kind of social thermometer—an index of how healthy American society as a whole was.
Now, a century later, Arab and Muslim Americans are the newest minorities in the American imagination, and they aren’t much better understood than African Americans were in 1903. I believe their treatment too reflects much about the state of American society today.
How have things changed for the Arab American or Muslim American community since September 11th?
Prior to September 11th, Arab and Muslim Americans lived...[read on]