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Contemporary Arab-American LiteratureTransnational Reconfigurations of Citizenship and Belonging$
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Carol Fadda-Conrey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479826926

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479826926.001.0001

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To the Arab Homeland and Back

To the Arab Homeland and Back

Narratives of Returns and Rearrivals

(p.65) 2 To the Arab Homeland and Back
Contemporary Arab-American Literature

Carol Fadda-Conrey

NYU Press

This chapter portrays second- and third generation Arab-Americans undertaking temporary return journeys to ancestral homelands. The revisionary perspectives resulting from such journeys, a concept referred to as rearrivals, are exemplified in the works of writers Mohja Kahf, Samia Serageldin, Pauline Kaldas, and Muaddi Darraj. The chapter also features nonliterary pieces that focus on the significance of return journeys in the Palestinian context, such as Annemarie Jacir's film Salt of this Sea (2008) and Emily Jacir's visual art. These works are often instigated by a desire to return to the geographical and national roots of diasporic Arab identities, or to what is simply defined as the familiar, even if this familiarity is an inherited construct. Such desires are informed by the urge to gain a deeper self-knowledge and some reprieve from the ambiguities of belonging that plague Arab-Americans in the diaspora.

Keywords:   second generation Arab-Americans, third generation Arab-Americans, return journeys, rearrivals, Palestine, Annemarie Jacir, Salt of this Sea, Arab homeland, diasporic Arab identities

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