I used to be a book worm years ago. During high school, college and post-graduation, I would sit and read for fun. Now that I have two little ones and teaching, it’s difficult to find some time to sit and read. So, on a recent road trip with my family — the kids slept (thank the Lord) for a good time and I read Amani’s “Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age.”
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the book that really spoke to me:
1. “‘Wow, good for her!’ my dad said. ‘She should be able to enjoy the ride just like anyone else. That took a lot of guts, didn’t it?’”
This was after Amani told her dad how embarrassed she was that her aunt Ebtisam went on a water ride wearing hijab.
2. “The Arabic word ‘Islam’ means submission — in our religion it means submission to God and God alone. You want us to submit. Submitting is not in our nature.”
3. “And one thing that I’m taking back to America with me is something no one can take away. My Hijab.” Amani said this in her farewell speech to her school in Jordan — where she attended for a couple of months.
4. “The assumption that one cannot speak English because of one’s culture or religion stems from historical stereotypes of immigrants — specifically people of color — as being uneducated, illiterate, unintelligent, and unassimilated. And seeing as how America should be the ‘salad bowl’ of the modern world, it doesn’t make sense that being ‘unassimilated’ should be seen as unordinary or viewed so negatively in today’s society.”
5. “The first hijabi ‘whatever’ won’t eliminate Islamophobia, just as the first Black president hasn’t eliminated racism, though both are signifiers of some type of progress — symbols of ascending beyond adversity.”
6. “Muslim women are hot right now. The thing is, we can’t be cool with society vilifying our identities, while at the same time trying to profit off them. One thing became clear: Muslim Girl became a start-up because it had to. For us, entrepreneurialism is a means to an end. It’s survival.”
7. “That’s all it took. I needed to decide that I wanted to be first. That I could be first. That I, too, deserved to be first.”
8. “I soon changed my profile name on Facebook from Amani Katatba to the abbreviated Amani Alkhat, much to the dismay of my peers, and then eventually to Amani Al-Khatahtbeh. In all its glory.”
9. “Our goal was always to increase out media representation and reclaim our narrative. And we always knew that if we were going to survive in today’s society, there was no other option but to succeed.” Amani talked about Muslim Girl’s goal.
10. “I hope she knows my pain is genuine, I thought. I hope she doesn’t doubt that a Muslim American can be this impacted by 9/11, too. The truth is that 9/11 never ended for us.”
Make sure to purchase your book now. Tell us down below what your favorite quotes from the book are.