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How does it feel to still be a problem?

Wesleyan Engage
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Moustafa Bayoumi is a writer, and professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. Born in Zürich, Switzerland, and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, he currently lives in Brooklyn.

Bayoumi completed his Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He is co-editor of The Edward Said Reader (Vintage, 2002), editor of Midnight on the Mavi Marmara: The Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israeli/Palestine Conflict (first published by OR Books, trade edition by Haymarket Books, 2010) and has published academic essays in publications including Transition, Interventions, the Yale Journal of Criticism, Amerasia, Arab Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Asian American Studies.

His writings have also appeared in The Nation, London Review of Books, and The Village Voice. His essay "Disco Inferno", originally published in The Nation, was included in the collection "Best Music Writing 2006". From 2003 to 2006, he served on the National Council of the American Studies Association, and he is currently an editor for Middle East Report. He is also an occasional columnist for the Progressive Media Project, an initiative of The Progressive magazine, through which his op-eds appear in newspapers across the United States.

Bayoumi's work, How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America, traces the experiences of seven young Arab-Americans navigating life in a post–September 11 environment, where complicated public perceptions of the attacks gave birth to new brands of stereotypes, fueling widespread discrimination. It is the story of how young Arab and Muslim Americans are forging lives for themselves in a country that often mistakes them for the enemy. His title is a reference to the W.E.B. Du Bois' 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folk. How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America was awarded a 2008 American Book Award and the 2009 Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction.

In This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror (NYU Press, 2015), Bayoumi reveals what the War on Terror looks like from the vantage point of Muslim Americans, highlighting the profound effect this surveillance has had on how they live their lives. The essays expose how contemporary politics, movies, novels, media experts and more have together produced a culture of fear and suspicion that not only willfully forgets the Muslim-American past, but also threatens all of our civil liberties in the present.[8] This Muslim American Life was awarded the 2016 Evelyn Shakir Non-Fiction Arab American Book Award.

Organized by Religion Department, American Studies Department, The Allbritton Center and Center for the Americas

Location: Russell House 350 High Street Middletown CT