True Story Non-Fiction: Moustafa Bayoumi

Friday, October 08, 2010

In the latest episode of KGB's non-fiction reading series, Moustafa Bayoumi read from his book, "How Does it Feel to be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America."

In "How Does it Feel to be a Problem?", Bayoumi examines the fraught issue of being young and Arab in America by telling the life stories of seven 20-something Arab-Americans, who may live, very literally, in your Brooklyn. Bayoumi considers Brooklyn's makeup—in residents, in cultures, in religion, and even in food—as a microcosm of the diversity in America today. By focusing on seven individual stories within Brooklyn, Bayoumi explores this particularly challenged population in post-9/11 America.

One of the curators of True Story: The KGB Non-Fiction Reading Series, Anna Wainwright, introduced Bayoumi at the talk, which you can listen to by clicking above.

Bon Mots

Bayoumi on his 15 seconds of fame: "I appeared as an extra in the Sex and the City movie. You can Google it."

Bayoumi on his book's reception: "I was soon labeled some kind of radical Pro-Palestinian that should be shunned and done away with. But, as I now like to say, the only radical organization I belong to is the Park Slope Food Co-op."

Bayoumi on the public's perception of Muslims: "About a quarter of the people measured said there shouldn't be any Muslim on the Supreme Court.  And almost a third said that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to run for president. But they're too late!"


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Talk to Me brings you downloadable readings and conversations with writers, artists, and scholars – from author Joshua Ferris to choreographer Mark Morris to poet Sharon Olds – recorded at cultural institutions in New York City and beyond. Stream, download, or subscribe to the full-length podcasts here.


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