“What are you laughing about?” my brother inquired curiously as he passed by me sitting on the couch reading and chuckling to myself.
I put up my index finger in the air to signal him to wait because I could not peel my eyes off the page. I needed to finish reading this last sentence of the chapter titled “Iraqis Take Forever to Say Good-bye.” As it turns out, Bosnians are not the only people who take ages to part with one another where the simple “bye” can be stretched out into half-an-hour-long ordeal.
“I am reading a memoir by Ayser Salman. I got it at the SOKY Book Fest. And it is hilarious,” I explained, in a rush to get back to reading another chapter.
He looked at me like I was crazy. And he proceeded to grab his cup of water and to escape back to his room.
I was glued to the couch until I completed reading this book. What I loved most about this memoir was how skillfully Ayser wove in humor as she told her story of growing up in the United States as a Muslim Arab American woman.
It is a relatable, yet unique, story of what it means to feel like you are at the wrong end of the table. And it is such a fun, insightful, quick read that I’d recommend to everyone.
It’s stories like this that we need today, during times of divisiveness, to help us recognize humanness in others. Thank you, Ayser.