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Literary Analysis Of Laila Halaby's 'Once In A Promised Land'

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Laila Halaby’s Once in a Promised Land (2007) offers instructive insight into the struggles facing Arab Americans in post 9/11 America. Specifically, Halaby inverts the Western gaze upon the Arab world; in doing so, she represents an America that is conspiratorial and inundated with religious zealotry. Halaby, then, portrays intolerant and xenophobic American characters overwrought with suspicion and paranoia and reveals a post 9/11 America that is rife with anti-Arab racism. Halaby also suggests that the pervasive American perception of a world distinctly divided between East and West only exacerbates global crises such as drought, poverty, and war. She also intimates that the events that occurred on September 11, 2001, were a direct result of these epidemics. Moreover, Halaby proffers a perspective of Americans as ignorantly perceiving the United…show more content…
Laila Halaby, Alameddine and Ali Yunis do not really lend themselves to such categorizations. In their narratives, they all display cosmopolitan or hybrid characters. Their novels suggest a different kind of reading and they solely aim at creating new modes of discourse in opposition to the Orientalist discourse. Their fiction is less nostalgic, yet emphasizing intercultural mobility. Their conceptualization of home is fluid, and thus, they show willingness to embrace different cultures. Their characters transgress the boundaries and resist confinement, as they feel joy in mobility and freedom. More importantly, drastic situation in the Middle East makes it difficult for anyone to even dream of a peaceful life. Their obsession with stories reflects their interest in their history, but they also cling to their
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