Imagine that you are an average fifteen-year old boy in an American public high school. You study hard, play soccer, and look forward to getting your driver's license next year along with your first job. One typical day, a blonde-haired popular cheerleader approaches you at school and wants to go on a date. Everyone's dream, right? Except suddenly you realize that you're not an average boy-- you're Muslim and you're not allowed to date. But all around you-- in high school, in books, on television-- everyone is dating. So who do you turn to as an example?
At the same time, Nur becomes convinced that her college-aged brother is becoming a fundamentalist Muslim based on some of the people he is hanging out with at the university. She gets a lesson in jumping to conclusions and stereotyping conservative Muslims as terrorists in the same way that she so adamantly speaks out against.
These are just two of the many typical situations that the teenagers in this book face. There are seven main characters in the series. Ibrahim and Nur Karim are a fifteen and fourteen-year old brother and sister whose parents are Palestinian. Nadia and Ali Hussain are also fifteen and fourteen-years old. They were both born in Bosnia. The last three main characters are Khalid, Elham, and Farid AlAmery, aged sixteen, fourteen, and thirteen. They were born in Iraq but grew up in the US. The Karims and Hussains are Sunni Muslims. The AlAmerys are Shias.
Author's Note: The story takes place in Des Moines, IA, a randomly chosen city. Only the city name is real. All of the streets and businesses are completely fictional, including the description of the Islamic center and the schools. Des Moines was chosen because it represents a typical western city which is predominantly Christian but has a growing Muslim population. When one thinks of American Muslims, rarely would we think of Iowa or Nebraska, for that matter, which actually has a population of over 6,000 Muslims.
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About the Author
Maryam Mahmoodian author of Muslim Teens In: Pitfalls and Pranks. Maryam Mahmoodian is a Muslim-American, born and raised in the US with an Iranian father and an American mother. She currently works as a family physician in Lincoln, Nebraska, where she lives with her husband. www.MuslimWritersPublishing.com