5 Books by Arab Authors Everyone Should Read

It’s time to update your TBR list.

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Summer is officially over. But while the days of lounging by the pool delving into your new favorite novel have come to a halt, that just means for us is a new set of books are bound to hit our bookshelves.  

And if you are unsure about what to read next, or you just hit a mean reading slump, we’ve got you covered. We’ve rounded up five new books written by Arab authors that you should get your hands on.

Our Women on The Ground : Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World (2019)

Here is an incredible collection of essays from Arab women journalists reporting on the region’s conflicts. This book steers away from the usual dominant Western coverage of the Arab world by granting voice to the region’s female journalists who offer a much-needed perspective to paint more complex and nuanced accounts of the happenings in their homelands. 

The 100 Year War on Palestine by Rashid Khalidi (2020)

100 years war on palestineThis historical non-fiction thoroughly documents the Palestinian struggle from the very beginning. Backed by reports of generations of family members, to intimate encounters with PLO members, Rashid Khalidi’s book is both illuminating and unprecedented. The Palestinian-American historian does not shy away from pointing out the failures of the Palestinian and Arab leadership while also giving a raw and honest portrayal of Palestine’s colonial reality.

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah (2020)

the beauty of your faceThis coming-of-age tale follows Afaf Rahman, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants and principal of a Muslim school for girls in the suburbs of Chicago, as she grapples with the terrifying reality of a radicalized school shooter. The novel switches between Afaf’s present and past, facing prejudice, racism, and xenophobia as a child amidst her sister’s devastating disappearance

Khalil: A novel by Yasmina Khadra (2021)

khalilWritten by none other than best-selling Algerian author Yasmina Khadra, Khalil is a poignant first-person account of a young Moroccan man’s involvement in the terrorist attacks that rocked France. Unusual and certainly daring, this book brings to life the most unusual of protagonists, a man struggling with questions about his religion, family and politics and looking for answers in all the wrong places.

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhader (2020)

the 30 names of nightFive years after a suspicious fire killed his ornithologist mother, a closeted Syrian American trans boy sheds his birth name and searches for a new one. Readers will learn about French Mandate Syria, a former Manhattan neighbourhood called Little Syria, trans history, ghosts, birds and more in this unusual coming of age story. 

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