Named a Michigan Notable Book for 2023 Hadha Baladuna
Gold Medal Winner in the Midwest Independent Publisher Awards
Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner
Eric Hoffer Book Award Winner
Society of Midland Authors Award Winner
2023 Arab American Book Award Winner
("this is our country") is the first work of creative nonfiction in the field of Arab American literature that focuses entirely on the Arab diaspora in Metro Detroit, an area with the highest concentration of Arab Americans in the US. Narratives move from a young Lebanese man in the early 1920s peddling his wares along country roads to an aspiring Iraqi-Lebanese poet who turns to the music of Tupac Shakur for inspiration. The anthology then pivots to experiences growing up Arab American in Detroit and Dearborn, capturing the cultural vibrancy of urban neighborhoods and dramatizing the complexity of what it means to be Arab, particularly from the vantage point of biracial writers. Included in these works is a fearless account of domestic and sexual abuse and a story of a woman who comes to terms with her queer identity in a community that is not entirely accepting. The anthology concludes with explorations of political activism dating back to the 1960s and Dearborn's shifting demographic landscape. Hadha Baladuna: Arab American Narratives of Boundary and Belonging
contains stories of immigration and exile by following newcomers' attempts to assimilate into American society. Editors Ghassan Zeineddine, Nabeel Abraham, and Sally Howell have assembled a cast of emerging and established writers from a wide array of communities, including cultural heritages originating from Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, and Yemen. The strong pattern in Arab Detroit today is to oppose marginalization through avid participation in almost every form of American identity-making. This engaged stance is not a byproduct of culture, but a new way of thinking about the US in relation to one's homeland.
Ghassan Zeineddine is assistant professor of English at the University of Michigan-Dearborn.Nabeel Abraham taught anthropology for nearly three decades at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan, where he also directed the honors program. He retired in 2013.Sally Howell is associate professor of history at the University of Michigan-Dearborn and director of the Center for Arab American Studies.