Join Mizna for a special event this Sunday! Nationally known Arab American writer, Gregory Orfalea, will be reading from (and signing) his latest book, "The Arab Americans: A History". You can purchase it on site.
Explore this Arab American coffee house in St. Paul, and join us on the lovely patio for an event not to be missed! Event is free and open to the public.
6pm Sunday, June 24th
Cahoots Coffee House
1562 Selby Avenue (by the corner of Selby and Snelling)
St. Paul, MN
About "The Arab Americans: A History"
Gregory Orfalea’s new and definitive work spans a century and a half of the life of Arab immigrants and their descendants in the United States. In The Arab Americans: A History, Orfalea has marshaled over 150 interviews and 25 years of research to tell the story that begins in 1856, when camel driver Hajdi Ali (or Hi Jolly) was hired by Jefferson Davis to cut a “camel trail” across the Southwest, and continues through the 2005 arrest of a former Virginia high school valedictorian accused of plotting with al-Qaeda. Once seen as the “benevolent stranger,” as the author points out, today Arab Americans are “the malevolent stranger.” His book, however, is an assault on such ignorance, both celebration and warning.
The Arab Americans is the culmination of a life’s work, a landmark in the history of what it means to be an American. It is also the history of a community uniquely repressed in American scholarship, history, literature, and politics. The Arab Americans fills a sizable void, and it could not be more timely. With American troops sprawled across the Arab and Muslim world, Orfalea’s work is like light in a dark tunnel—facts, not stereotypes; people, not shadows; the vibrant world of a lost American experience come to life.
Orfalea brings to this work an historian’s love of meticulous and telling detail, a poet’s ear, and a novelist’s sense of story. The cumulative effect is symphonic and its arrival none too soon.
Greg Orfalea is director of the writing center at Pitzer College in California and co-editor of Grape Leaves: A Century of Arab-American Poetry.