Cover image for Bint Arab : Arab and Arab American women in the United States
Bint Arab : Arab and Arab American women in the United States
Shakir, Evelyn, 1938-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Westport, Conn. : Praeger, 1997.
Physical Description:
x, 226 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E184.A65 S48 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Drawing on primary sources such as club minutes, census records and interviews, this text explores the experience of late 19th- and early 20th-century immigrant women from Lebanon and Syria. The author considers the contrast between this and the experience of their daughters and granddaughters.

Author Notes

EVELYN SHAKIR, the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, has been writing for many years on the subjects of Arab American women and Arab American literature. She is Associate Professor of English at Bentley College.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Shakir (English, Bentley Coll.) tells the long-neglected story of the bint arab‘the Arab woman‘in the United States. Drawing on primary sources such as club minutes, census records, and dozens of interviews, she explores the experience of late 19th- and early 20th-century immigrants, mostly Christian peasants from Lebanon and Syria, and their American-born daughters. Later, she moves on to the well-assimilated granddaughters. The work concludes with Muslims who have emigrated over the last quarter century from many Arab countries, particularly Palestinians. While attempting to correct stereotypes of Arab women as passive and downtrodden, Shakir gives voice to women caught in a tug of war, usually within the family, between traditional values and the social and sexual liberties permitted women in the West. Leavened with personal reminiscences by the author, this work introduces a gallery of spirited women. Essential for all scholars and students of America's social and religious diversity.‘Shirzad Alkadhi, Montreal, Quebec (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

In Bint Arab (literally "the daughter of Arabs") Shakir, a second-generation Arab American of Lebanese descent, explores the life experiences of Arab women in the US both now and in the past. Her research is framed in terms of two historical periods that witnessed massive immigration from the Middle East to the US. The first took place at the turn of the century; the second, which is ongoing, began in 1945. The first wave, 1875 to 1925, was made up largely of Christian Arabs from Mount Lebanon; the second wave, which was precipitated by the creation of the state of Israel and the wars and political upheavals that followed, consisted mostly of Palestinians and Egyptians who were largely Muslim. Weaving together the personal narratives of a number of women of different generations and experiences (including those in her own family), Shakir compares their lives and experiences as they negotiated their way between the demands of their own cultural traditions and the opportunities provided by their new adopted country. A rich and complex portrait of Arab women and their culture emerges, one that should serve as a corrective to the negative and simplistic stereotype about Arab women in the West. All levels. A. Rassam; CUNY Queens College

Table of Contents

The First Wave, 1875-1925 Miriam Katreen Syrian
Immigration Women Immigrants Peddlers
Mill Girls, Factory Hands, and Entrepreneurs Students and Teachers
Clubwomen Making a Match From Second Generation to Third Fighting
"Political Racism": Paula Reconnecting: Linda Women for Women: Cheryl Color and Religion: Khadija
The Second Wave, 1945-Present Prologue Palestinians: Emily, Ihsan, Najeebi, Suhair, Suad, Nuha, and Nawal, Mona Collage