Journal article Open Access
This paper offers a reading of two selected novels by two Anglophone Arab writers, Diana Abujaber and Fadia Faqir. A key concern of this article is the analysis of how the Arab migrant , who is ethnically and/or religiously different from the mainstream Euro-American subject, is perceived in the West, where there is a growing ethnocentric view of the Arab Other as less white, less enlightened, less civilized, and therefore, less human. In interpreting the two novels, Arabian Jazz (1993) and My Name is Salma (2007), a major intention is to argue that Arabs and Muslims have been treated as inferior in mainstream Western societies, based on a biased stigmatization and stereotyping of a large heterogeneous ethnic group whose religions, traditions, languages and cultures are diverse. By drawing on Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature (1986), Edward Said’s Orientalism (1978) and Rosi Braidotti’s Nomadic Subjects (1994), my reading of Abujaber and Faqir’s texts seeks to offer a deeper understanding of how Arabs and/or Muslims living in the United States and Britain are marginalized. The article also examines the journeys of dislocation that the protagonists of the two novels embark upon, and how these journeys represent the dehumanization of the
identity, selfhood and cultural ethos of displaced Arab immigrants.