© Arab American family in front of the Capitol building, Washington, DC

“In a beautifully rendered work, Alia Malek succeeds in a challenging task: restoring the humanity to a community too long buffeted by the vagaries of chauvinism, bias and ignorance. Her book, written with wit, compassion and insight, is at once timeless, in its telling of immigrants in America, and unique, in its exploration of the diversity of the Arab-American community.  In the end, A COUNTRY CALLED AMREEKA is a stirring story of humor, loss, love and triumph.”

Anthony Shadid


“The stories in this book are clearly told, with warmth and a quick wit, and together form a wonderfully lucid and rational look at 20th century Arab American life. A book like this would be valuable in any era, but particularly now, when we're just beginning to stumble out of the darkness of eight years of xenophobia and buckshot paranoia, it's welcome, brave and necessary.”


— Dave Eggers


“[A] deeply engaging series of portraits of Arab American lives in a profoundly complicated time. Malek’s compelling ability to imagine and construct perspectives and problems of a wide range of individuals feels intuitively masterful. This should be a textbook across the nation — even the most reluctant readers will (hopefully) be enlarged, their stereotypes neutralized.”

— Naomi Shihab Nye


“If you’re not an Arab American, then it’s really imperative for you to read this fascinating book. You couldn’t ask for a more informative, engaging, and provocative introduction to millions of our fellow citizens. From football star to soldier, from gay activist to union leader, cheerleader, minister, Democrat, Republican, Christian, Muslim – Alia Malek brings the entire spectrum of Arab America to vivid, three-dimensional life.”

— Sam Freedman


“[G]reat reading for anyone who is interested in the hyphenated American immigrant. The hopes and dreams of ordinary people who have come to the Land of Great Hope are beautifully depicted [and the] lives of [these] people are compelling for their struggles for a better life. The book is engaging and enlightening, impossible to put down."

— Helen Thomas


“[A] superb snapshot of the Americans of Arab-speaking descent … [Malek has] a remarkable ability to capture her subjects' voices…an excellent book, one certain to put right some of the wrongs it catalogues.” more...

— Publishers Weekly (starred review/Pick of the Week)


“A significant, timely contribution to the understanding of the Arab-American story.” more...

— Kirkus



“[Malek’s] direct, open style [using] diverse individual stories... works beautifully... An essential addition to the Booklist Core Collection.” more...

— Booklist


“Malek simultaneously provides insight into Arab-American life and demonstrates that these people are not "just like us" -- they are us, and the problem is not simply a lack of understanding, but also a too-narrow definition of "us," a lack of sophistication in considering where American values and Arab-American values overlap. That Malek shows us the overlap while not disregarding the sharp edges speaks to the excellence of this collection.” more...

— Minneapolis Star Tribune


"[T]he urge to link Islam to violence, or to understand violence only through the lens of Islam, has its roots in a story much older than a few weeks. It’s that story, the story of the relationship between America and its Arab Americans, that Malek brings powerfully into focus… The book looks at America through the eyes of a minority so often viewed as its enemy. As the book progresses through time, a bigger story begins to emerge… It’s an incredible journey, if momentarily stunted, and Malek chronicles that journey with authority. Malek’s book reminds us, at a particularly resonant time, that none of those stories is simple.”  more...

— Christian Science Monitor


“Compelling… Ultimately, the book gives voice not just to the political side of the Middle Eastern conflict but also to the human side. Malek believes there’s more that unites us than divides us. She makes the point vividly.”

— Baltimore Sun


“Authentic, engaging and well written… Malek realized that immigrants’ rights would be better served if they were given a name and a voice, something that she does admirably in this book.” more...

— National Catholic Reporter


“A COUNTRY CALLED AMREEKA begins to fill in that gap in our collective understanding of our own history… Richly told and beautifully written, this book is [a] valuable a contribution to the American story…”  more...

— Political Affairs


“Though its content is substantive, the book is a page-turner that reads like the best fiction... she explores the relationships between multiple forces — national and international, government and individual — for a uniquely holistic approach to history. Her simple, yet imaginative and poetic storytelling is suited to any audience... a welcome corrective.” more...

— Electronic Intifada











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© Arab American family in front of the Capitol building, Washington, DC