social and human sciences review مجلة العلوم الاجتماعية والانسانية
Volume 21, Numéro 2, Pages 923-934

Khadra’s Fight For Her Hyphenated Identity In Mohja Kahf’s The Girl In The Tangerine Scarf (2006)

Authors : Benlahcene Mallek .

Abstract

This paper highlights the plight of the Arab Muslim American Woman facing estrangement both in the American society and in her Muslim community in Mohja Kahf’s The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf (2006). More precisely, it explores the American Muslim woman’s hyphenated identity through the female protagonist Khadra who grapples with her identity owing to Arab Muslims’ and Americans’ fixed notions of cultural, national, and religious identities. My analysis traces the protagonist’s various forms of resistance to the essentialized perception of “Arabness” and “Americaness”. It is by rejecting and denouncing the conventional Muslim limited constructions and refuting the Eurocentric monolithic clichés about Muslim women that the writer inserts Arab hijabi women’s individualism, hyphenated or pluralistic identity, and belongingness to the US society. This paper, thus, maintains that The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf erodes and replaces the homogenizing formulations by multicultural, trans-ethnic, and transnational perceptions of identity.

Keywords

Arabness Americanness arabmuslimwomen hyphenatedidentity cliches