Daily Life of Arab Americans in the 21st Century
by Anan Ameri and Holly Arida, Editors
April 2012, 261pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-37714-3
$70, £54, 61€, A96
eBook Available: 978-0-313-37715-0
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Despite having an estimated population of 3.5 million and being integrated in many parts of the United States, Arab Americans remain a largely misunderstood ethnic group, especially in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. For example, the common assumption that Arab Americans are devout Muslims is incorrect; according to the Arab American Institute, 63% of Arab Americans are Christian.

This much-needed study documents positive Arab-American contributions to American life and culture, especially in the last decade, debunking myths and common negative perceptions that were exacerbated by the 9/11 attacks and the War on Terror.

The term “Arab American” is often used to describe a broad range of people who are ethnically diverse and come from many countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait. Some Arab Americans have been in the United States since the 1880s. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 did serve to highlight the necessity for Americans to better understand the discrete nations and ethnicities of the Middle East.

This title documents the key aspects of contemporary Arab American life, including their many contributions to American society. It begins with an overview of the immigrant experience, but focuses primarily on the past decade, examining the political, family, religious, educational, professional, public, and artistic aspects of the Arab American experience. Readers will understand how this unique experience is impacted by political events both here in America and in the Arab world.


  • Incorporates contributions from seven scholars and community activists who have extensive experience in the Arab American community
  • Traces key events in Arab American history, beginning with the landing of the first Arab immigrant in 1528 through recent appointments of Arab Americans to the Obama Administration
  • Includes artwork and illustrations by prominent Arab American artists
  • Contains a map of the Arab world as well as charts, graphs, and tables measuring the economic and political involvement of Arab Americans
  • A rich glossary provides a resource of Arabic words to help readers understand Arab traditions still present in Arab American life as well as sociological terms and key political events relevant to recent Arab American history
Anan Ameri, PhD, is the founding director of the Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI. Her expertise derives from decades of work with Arab communities in the United States and from her doctoral degree in sociology from Wayne State University. A visiting scholar at Harvard University's Center for Middle Eastern Studies in 1996, Ameri is the author and editor of several books and articles, including Arab American Encyclopedia and Telling Our Story: The Arab American National Museum.

Holly Arida is an educator and writer who specializes in Middle Eastern and Arab American affairs and teaches at Cranbrook Kingswood Upper School in Bloomfield Hills, MI. She is coeditor of Etching Our Own Image: Voices from within the Arab American Art Movement for the Arab American National Museum. Arida serves as an advisor at the Arab American National Museum.


"This book gives a satisfactory overview of Arab American life and provides some perspectives that will be valued by readers interested in culture and issues of diversity in the United States."—Library Journal, August 1, 2012

Daily Life

What was life really like for ordinary people in other cultures throughout history? How did they raise their children? What did they do for fun? From sexual mores in ancient Egypt to resistance music in modern Latin America, and from the fashion sense of the Mongols to the importance of film in modern India, the world comes alive in the indispensable hands-on volumes of this award-winning series. A truly interdisciplinary resource, the Daily Life series covers arts; religion; food; literature; language; romance; rites of passage and coming of age; marriage customs; social and government structure; sickness and cures; warfare; sports and games; holidays; festivals; and more. Supported by the most current research, these authoritative volumes provide an in-depth exploration of daily life throughout history.

Each volume provides:
• An exploration of complex eras in history on a level accessible to students and general readers
• Authoritative coverage stemming from the most current scholarship and recent discoveries
• A focus on social rather than political history in key curricular areas, providing an in-depth understanding of the nuts and bolts of daily life
• Interactive, exciting details such as recipes, sheet music, rules for games, song lyrics, and more
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