The Arab and the Brit

The Arab and the Brit

The Last of the Welcome Immigrants

eBook - 2013
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Lightning Source, Inc. Ebooks
Born of a Palestinian father and British mother, Bill Rezak has always been intrigued by the different worlds his parents came from. His father’s ancestors were highwaymen on the Arabian Peninsula in the eighteenth century. They sparred unsuccessfully with ruling Ottoman Turks and escaped with their family to America. His mother’s parents were sent to Canada from Great Britain into indentured servitude as children separate­ly and alone at the ages of 10 and 16. They worked off their servitude, met, married and moved to New York State. In The Arab and the Brit, a memoir that spans multiple generations and countries, Rezak traces the remarkable lives of his ancestors. Narrating their experiences against the backdrop of two World Wars and an emerging modern Middle East, the author gives readers a textured and vivid immigrant story. Rezak recalls his paternal grandmother apprehending would-be Russian saboteurs during World War One, his grandfather’s time at Dr. Bernardo’s home, a shelter for destitute children, and his father’s work with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Association following the war. Told with humor and captivating detail, The Arab and the Brit, chronicles the trials and triumphs of one family’s struggle to succeed in the New World.

Book News
This is a family memoir that recounts tales of the author's grandparents, parents, and other relatives as paternal grandparents moved from Bedouin life in Palestine to the United States and maternal grandparents were sent separately from Great Britain into indentured servitude in Canada, while years later his mother and father met at Syracuse University in New York prior to World War II. The tale is clearly presented as an object lesson of American immigrant success and as a rebuke to the current atmosphere of xenophobia that surrounds much of the policy debate around immigration. The author relies significantly on family lore where events could not be documented and has also taken literary license in recounting conversations and events. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Publisher: Syracuse, New York :, Syracuse University Press,, [2013]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9780815652014
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xvi, 249 pages) : illustrations


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