The United States Through Arab Eyes: An Anthology of Writings (1876-1914) (Paperback)
A vibrant collection of writings about America from its earliest Arab immigrants
The first Arab immigrants to New York or Alaska or San Francisco were 'small' men and women, preoccupied with eking a living at the same time as confronting the challenges of settling in a new country. They had to come to terms with new race communities such as Indians, Chinese and Blacks, the changing role of women, and the Americanisation of their identity.
Their writings about these experiences - from travellers and emigrants, rich and poor, men and women - took the form of travelogues and newspaper essays, daily diaries and adventure narratives, autobiographies and histories, full-length books published in the Ottoman Press in Lebanon and journal articles in Arabic newspapers printed in Philadelphia, Boston, and New York. Together they show the transnational perspective of immigrants as they reflected on and described the United States for the very first time.Key features
- Newly translated texts of the first writings about America by Arabs
- Divides the translations into four categories: minorities, women, identity and return
- Shows how Arabs admired the United States for its opportunities, religious tolerance and openness, but also criticised its brute materialism and debilitating work conditions
- A detailed introduction explores the idea of the Arab Nahda and America
About the Author
Nabil Matar is Presidential Professor and Professor of English, and Adjunct Professor of History and of Religious Studies at the University of Minnesota. He is author, editor and translator of numerous publications, the most recent being An Arab Ambassador in the Mediterranean World (1779-1787) (2015).