Arab American Feminism: The Political and the Literary Strategies of Re-writing between Borders in Contemporary Post-9/11 Fiction by Women Writers
Keywords:Transnational Arab American Feminism, Re-writing Shehrazade’s Narrative, Negotiating Identities, Arabs in post-9/11 America
Undeniably, Arab American women occupy a debatable position in mainstream culture and politics. Because of their former invisibility, they started to claim their presence and to fight for their rights in post-9/11 America. They ardently become aware of their submission to both Arab patriarchy and sexism and the necessity to fight against this denigrating position. Likewise, they realise that they were silenced in discourses against Arab and Muslim discrimination in the United States. This paper focuses on the ways they have been challenging these discriminatory and invisibilizing discourses against Arab women through shedding light on their Transnational Feminist concerns in their writings, in which they have created a site to communicate anti-discrimination discourses, and to oppose the stereotypical monolithic portrayals of Arab men that are mainly due to the hypervisibility and the demonization of Arabs in post- 9/11 America. Additionally, it highlights how the Shehrazadian narrative strategy in contemporary Arab American women’s writing engulfs several features and illustrations of confrontation and resistance to the stereotypical representations of Arab women, mainly in the American popular culture. Indeed, Shehrazade and her narrative strategies become in this context a collective means for re-writing, reviving and redefining grandmother figures from the past. Shehrazed’s storytelling, as a life-serving strategy, becomes a metaphor for the urgency of exploring why and how figures like Shehrazade are translated across cultures and how Orientalism shapes such translation.
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