Cultural and Racial Differences Sequent September 11/2001 in Laila Halaby's Novel Once in a Promised Land

  • Huda Kadhim Alwan
Keywords: Laila Halaby, Arab culture, racial difference, Muslims, immigrants, America, colonization, sequent- 9/11.


Laila Halaby is an Arab American writer who exposes the struggles facing Arab Americans, men and women sequent 9/11/2001in her novel Once in a Promised Land (2007). Her American figures of Arabs and Islamic cultures become suspicious and prejudice. In her novel, Halaby shows American characters' feeling of a world separated between East and West and their points of view towards immigrants which show that ethnic and religious groups are dangerous to the safety of America.

     This article focuses on cultural and racial differences that have a great negative effect on the lives of Halaby's protagonists, such as pain, unhappiness, anger, and social change. They face physical attack in America because of their Arab identity. Arab American writers used literature to reveal collections of racist policies and the negative construction of Arabs particularly Muslims as terrorists, dangerous outlaws, and undesirable intruders sequent the assaults on the Twin Towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia. Halaby in this novel focuses on the outcome of the 9/11 national trauma for Arab American and she seeks for the revival of Arab culture.