Arab American National Museum
Binti- Melika Belhaj
In a fifth grade class a television sits propped on a metal stand. On the screen, images of smoke billow from two tall towers, the clip of planes formerly crashing into them repeat over and over again. A young child sits in the back row of the room. She draws on her desk. War on Terror reads the banner at the bottom of the screen; words that do not describe the culture to which she belongs. She invites friends to her home for djej emshermel, stewed chicken with lemon and olives, for kefta made of ground lamb and tomato sauce, foods of her father's homeland. Foods of a place she longs to know. Her father calls her binti, daughter, my girl. "Binti: Daughter of Arab America" explores personal stories of a multicultural household in which a North African Arab man marries a white American woman and together they raise two children in a post-9/11 world. In a hand designed and printed book the author illustrates her Arab Muslim America through storytelling, poetry, and prose.