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My Arab Spring My Canada Paperback – Oct 8 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 174 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (Oct. 8 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1478387297
  • ISBN-13: 978-1478387299
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 259 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #339,210 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Qais Ghanem hosts the CHIN Ottawa 97.9FM radio show Dialogue with Diversity which he created 6 years ago, and which has won four awards. He blogs for Huffington Post, and is an invited regular columnist for Gulf News, Dubai. He has a published a book of poetry, 2 mystery novels: FINAL FLIGHT FROM SANAA, and TWO BOYS FROM ADEN COLLEGE. He co-authored a non-fiction book entitled MY ARAB SPRING, MY CANADA to be launched on 22 October, 2012. He is a VP of the Canadian Authors Association. His website is Elie Michael Nasrallah, born in Lebanon, graduated from Carleton University with an honors degree in political science. He also obtained a Regulatory Law Administration certificate from Algonquin College. He has been practicing since 1988 as a certified immigration consultant.He is a writer and commentator for major newspapers in North America and the Middle East.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book offered a very refreshing outlook on multiculturalism in Canada. It presented a very strong argument for immigrants to adapt to and adopt a Canadian way of life, without sacraficing their heritage, and without forcing Canadians to change to their ways. There was an excellent section that addressed women, and the authors did not shy away from some very pressing and controversial issues. I thought that the book offered a very fair view of modern society for both Canadians and immigrants. The first part of the book was a very comprehensive study of the past immigration policies and views of the government and society. I was very interested to learn that the Arab society encompasses so many others as a group - for instance, the Somolians. It changed my views about immigration and immigrants to a more positive and hopeful opinion.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9c3edf90) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c55b6f0) out of 5 stars Arab Spring Comes to Canada Nov. 14 2012
By Reuel S. Amdur - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Arab Spring is on the minds of Dr. Qais Ghanem and Elie Nasrallah as much as on the mind of Arab expatriates living in the West but with a difference.

The two men recently held a book launch at Ottawa's St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral on. In line with the broad ecumenical outlook expressed in the book, St. Elias is frequently the venue for Muslim gatherings. Ghanem is a liberal-minded Muslim and Nasrallah a modern Christian. Their book, My Arab Spring, My Canada, focuses on the place of the Canadian Arab diaspora.

The book advocates for an Arab Spring among Arab Canadians and call for Arab immigrants and their children to engage in their communities, to take part in volunteering, to participate in intercultural programs, and to become political.

Ghanum, a retired distinguished neurophysiologist, is certainly an outstanding example of that the book calls for. He is the founder of Potlucks for Peace, a space for Jews and Muslims to meet together and get to know one another on a personal basis. He hosts a radio show to introduce immigrant communities (Dialogue with Diversity), and he was a candidate for Parliament, running for the Green Party. Elie Nasrallah is an immigration consultant who also writes commentaries for various publications in Canada and the Middle East.

The book presents Arab Canadians with a challenge, to balance their desire to maintain the traditions that they bring and the need to integrate in their new home. Central to the challenge is the need to promote the full empowerment of women, a challenge not just for Arabs in Canada but for the whole Arab world.

The authors also address the divide between parents and their children. Arab children growing up in Canada will in many ways be Canadian, and parents need to be prepared to accept that, they argue. They need to allow their children to date, as Canadian children do. Specifically, the authors reject the double standard, whereby boys can and girls can't.

In another, though related, area, the book criticizes the hijab and niqab. At the book launch, Ghanem gave a half-hearted nod to the hijab, "but not the niqab." The book suggests that these both are "because they are coerced--or some Canadians think." Perhaps that is too simplistic. There are many women who choose to wear the hijab. In some cases, it is a matter of religious conviction and in other cases it is a matter of habit and therefore of comfort. There are many cases where it is not a matter of coercion and may not even be an effort to conform. A couple years ago a young woman on the street was wearing a hijab--along with white shorts, certainly not what would be her father's influence.

A good part of the book deals with immigration statistics. However, what is lacking is an interpretation, an analysis of the meaning of the statistics. Especially important is an analysis of data relating to family reunification and to delays in the process.

One reason why this kind of analysis is important is because the current Conservative government have been making inroads into the ethnic vote. They appeal on the basis of social conservatism--a focus on "family values", against "loose" morals, against abortion, against homosexuality, etc.

When ethnic immigrants are trying to get a foothold in Canada, facing financial challenges and needing various social services to help them settle in and provide income support when needed, their direct interests put them in opposition to the Conservatives' dog-eat-dog approach.

Immigrants' support of the Conservatives is an example of what Marxists have called "false consciousness." The Tories do not favor a strong family unification program allowing family members' rapid admission to the country. They do not support family values where they count.

At the launch, Ghanem addressed the book's call for women's rights. He also spoke of the need to attack racism, "which does exist among Arabs." As well, he told those in attendance that Arab Canadians need to be concerned about injustice wherever it occurs. It is not good enough to be concerned about the Palestinians. "We need to care about the Tamils too." He sees a need to build alliances with other ethnic groups and justice-seeking groups.

When it comes to advocacy for Arab causes, the book regrets the weakness of the advocacy groups such as the National Council on Canada-Arab Relations and the Canadian Arab Federation. It points to the power and influence, by contrast, of Jewish organizations. The reason for the difference? Money. Jews are far more generous in support of their advocacy organizations. So when it comes to Canadian policy on Palestine, whom do the politicians listen to? "Suppose," said Ghanem at the book launch, "that every Arab wage-earner contributed just $10." That amount would make a major difference.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9c55c6a8) out of 5 stars A Book Full of Suprising Facts Dec 13 2012
By Knowledge Seeker - Published on
Format: Paperback
"My Arab Spring, My Canada" ... An impressive title that would have as many interpretations as it readers. The book has provided me with a more comprehensive and enhanced idea and understanding of the successes, challenges, efforts and sacrifices of immigrants who have chosen this beautiful country Canada, as their home, away from their homeland. Appreciation and thanks go to the authors who masterfully communicated their knowledge about the Canadian immigration system and diversity in Canada.
HASH(0x9c364720) out of 5 stars Arabs in Canada Dec 28 2012
By ithaca - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story of man is the story of migration. About 70,000 years ago, humans left Africa via the Arabian Peninsula and traveled west and east to colonize Europe and Asia, eventually crossing over to the Americas. In their book, "My Arab Spring, My Canada", Ghanem and Nasrallah provide a snapshot of modern-day immigration from Arab countries to Canada and take the reader through some of the sociological and legal barriers that confront those who arrive at new shores. The cultural and religious baggage carried by modern-day migrants is far bulkier than that existing at the dawn of civilization. And Arabs in Canada are no exception. But the authors remind the reader of the bright spots of harmonious coexistence and assimilation of new immigrants and their descendants. "My Arab Spring, My Canada" conveys an upbeat sense of the Arab awakening known as "The Arab Spring". The authors suggest that the aspirations for freedom and for democratic values that underlie the Arab Spring give Arabs in Canada and elsewhere renewed pride in their heritage and the confidence needed to become full participants in the democratic societies in which they live. Their thesis is not one of a clash of civilizations, but rather of a convergence towards shared democratic ideals. My Arab Spring My Canada