This is a picture of the author Moshin Hamid. I included a picture of him because he wrote the book and I assumed people would want to know what he looked like. He's obviously miportant because he literally wrote the book. I was expecting him to look more rough, but I guess now that I see how it looks it also makes sense because of his soft style of writing.
I chose the image of the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Towers. When the towers are attacked it begins the fall of Changez. He becomes consumed by thoughts of his standing in the world, and how the people back home are doing. It also is the sole reason people in America have created the single story of terrorism with Arabs.
The Website is set up to honor the over 3,000 people that were killed during the atacks of 9/11. It is a beautiful setting with a large marble pool area with two waterfalls and over 300 trees. It also holds a "survivor tree" which is one of the trees that stayed in the ground and survived the attacks and is held at the memorial as a reminder for the surviving people from the attacks. Everyone of the victims names are inscribed in bronze on the marble pools for everybody to see. There is also a wall that has a unique way of commemerating the life of each of the victims from the attacks. Along with all of this, numerous personal stories from people involved and survivors are on the website for people to read about. There is also a section of the website for F&Q if you are wondering more about the attacks on that day. Last but not least, there is a section where you can donate money or volunteer to help out with their foundation.
In the article "Om Puri hails culture of Lahore" this author from the Daily Times writes about how the artist of India and Pakistan are doing a great job of bringing the two countries together. He says the Lahore is the hub of all of this art and is the main ingredient in this act. Saying their art is the most beautiful of them all, and has had a want to visit for a long time.
I would not recommend traveling to Pakistan for vacation, or for anything in general. Yes, Pakistan has some positives, but the negatives far out weigh those. The constant threat of terrorism would be reason enough to not visit. But my eyes have also been opened to the art of Lahore and structures in Punjab during the research I've done.
I chose a map of Punjab because it's atopic often discussed in the book. Changez has family who lives there, and often compares it to New York and the places he visits. Therefore, I thought it important to include a map so people could get a visual image of the place he's from.
The Film Arab American Stories talks about three young Arabs that are coming up in the world making their own way. First, you have actress Alia Shawkat who played a role in the film "Arrested Development" and is a rising star in her business. Next, we have Mariem Masmoudi who is a student trying to figure out how to have a healthy mix of both being Arab and American. Last, we have Ace Montaser, a former soldier who is now a radio personality on a Detroit Talk Show. The documentary focuses on each of their ways of dealing with being Arab in an American world. The first woman talks about her numerous roles in her films and the stereotypes she has had to overcome in order to get where she is. The second young girl talks about her going to her home country for a protest in democracy. She had to talk to her parents to convince her to visit Tunisian and make a difference. She founded her own organization of citizens helping their own country move towards Democracy. Last, Ace talks about how American music can be crude and “bad” for lack of a better word. Then he begins to talk about his experiences in the military and how he was accepted even as a Arab soldier fighting for America. All three of these people have had to overcome a struggle or situation to get where they are now and make a life for them in America. Showing that life can truly be good for Arabs in America.
The Other Threat to Pakistan by Huma Yusuf talks about the misconception of Punjab and its standing. It talks about how people misconceive it to be a not harmed place, and quite pleasant. Yes, obviously some parts of Punjab are, but in general it's an area commonly under distress. Yusuf talks about the numerous terrorist attacks that happen, and how many terrorist groups are based inside of Punjab. It's said that Punjab and Pakistan are almost one in the same, which in my opinion is not a good country to be compared to. Some of the southern cities are of the poorest in the entire Middle East and in poverty. This could be due to the lack of national budget or monetary plan up until 2009. Also the problem of Baluch nationalist attacks on the people of Punjab, killing teachers, civilians, etc. When it comes to the Taliban Punjab has been quite fortunate, in 2010 they requested to not be attacked in return for their peace. For the most part the requests were met, but recently the Taliban have threatened to attack Punjab because of the recent fall of their leader. Overall it seems Punjab wears a fake mask to the outside world saying everything is okay, but in reality the true Punjab is not as okay as it seems.
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Clark Gary's insight:
The Reluctant Fundamentalist is set in the mid 2000s in a time after 9-11 has occurred. The story is a story within a story telling from the main character Changez. He is in a cafe talking to a american stranger and proceeds to tell his story of life in America until now. He is in a cafe in Lahore while telling this story, but his story takes place mostly in New York and the numerous places he visits on his business trips. Changez begins by telling the stranger that he came over from Pakistan from a family that was once rich but now is on the decline along with the counrty of Pakistan as a whole. He has been able to attend Princeton University obviously a very prestigious school in New Jersey. After graduating he earns an interview with Underwood Samson a well known valuation firm. After a rather strange interview in which he feels both uncomfortable and opened up in, he ends up getting the job at the company. He then goes through the process of making it through the training process and earns the number one position in the training program with his best friend being the number 2 man. He then begins to speak of his love for Erica and how fell in love with her on one of the summer trips with Princeton classmates. they were never physcial on the trips and when they come back to New York they are not physical for a while either. She is haunted by the death of her Ex-Boyfriend Chris and is suffering both physical and pyschological pain from his death. Changez goes on his first trip to Greece and it is a huge success heb once again is first in the program. When he is back he begins to see Erica again and one night they attempt to make love and it doesn't work and she becomes upset thinking of Chris. He tries to reach out to her again and is unsuccesful for a long time, until she finally returns his call. She comes to his flat they drink and they make love, but he has to tell her to pretend that he is Chris... her dead lover. After this she again goes a long time without contacting him. He eventually does and comes to find that she is suffering from her condition and is very sick and her mother thinks it best he does not contact her unless told to. He goes on another trip to the Phillipines and again comes back ranked first for their project but is detained on his journey back, no matter he earns a raise for his god works. He begins to worry that he will be cut from work becuase of the attacks on New York but is not let go, as only the two men finishing in last for their project get laid off. He begins to worry more about Pakistan and becomes enamoured with everything surrounding it, books, websites, magazines, etc. He is sent on another project to Chilie but is no longer amused with first class treatment and lacks focus. He eventually leaves Chilie and comes home for lack of focus and anger towards the American way. He then starts to lead lectures towards America and speak against the things they are doing with young students who are protesters. He goes to look for Erica and she has also disappeared from his life and can't be found. He then back in Lahore while telling this story walks the man to his hotel room and the man seems distressed as if someone is watching them. and their water is frantically trying to get Changez attention. The book ends with the stranger reaching in his pocket and a metal noise being made that sounds like a gun, leaving you to believe that this man is going to kill Changez.
They speak of numerous false hints and tips about Arab Americans being "suspicious", 96,000 tips in total. These tips and constant acts of revenge continued on for about three years and a still prevalent in some parts of the US today. Wanting to make special circumstances for Arabs especially when it comes to airports and public areas. This is strange the author says because the first half of the Arabs existence in America was rather simple and pleasant. They were looked at as almost equal as the white people, but referred to as "not quite white". Yes some restrictions were put into place for the Arabs, but nothing even comparable to the other minorities that suffered in early America. The author says the most noticeable change came in the 1980s when the general population of Arabs was no longer Arab and began to incorporate their own religion. The stereotype of the angry Arab was created, with people thinking of them as being angry and part of mobs. This is the reason the author says the social status of the Arab has actually been on a decline since their introduction to the Americas. They have gone from being almost equals to the whites, to being viewed as a more subordinate culture. The authors then speak about the lack of knowledge we are taught about the Arabs prior to 9-11. They are not in our history books and we are not taught about them other than that horrible day on 9-11. Finally, he says our lack of knowledge on the Arabs made them easy targets for us once they were thrust into our world during the 9-11 attacks.
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