Tasnim Qutait
Search for other papers by Tasnim Qutait in
Current site
Google Scholar
Empire, security and citizenship in Arab British fiction
in British culture after empire
Abstract only
Log-in for full text

In Robin Yassin-Kassab’s novel The Road From Damascus (2008), Muntaha, one of the central characters, refuses to identify with ‘the Arab nation’, stating ‘I’m British anyway. I’m a British Muslim’. Through yoking a transnational religious affiliation to her country of settlement, Muntaha distances herself from Arab diaspora contexts and instead inscribes herself into a multicultural Britain. Robin Yasin-Kassab is one of a growing number of Arab novelists writing in English, including the likes of Ahdaf Soueif, Jamal Mahjoub, Selma Debbagh and Leila Aboulela, who take the subjectivities and displacements of Arab immigrant subjects in Britain as their theme. Their novels unfold as a drama of choice about belonging in diaspora, examining how the parallel and sometimes intersecting identities Arab and/or Muslim have been transformed in recent decades. This chapter demonstrates how these writers represent the impact of contemporary politics on Arab immigrants in Britain. In doing so, their novels reflect on the lingering legacy of empire and grapple with the specters of colonialism that continue to animate present conflicts.

  • Collapse
  • Expand