Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version

February 2005


Published in The American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 22:1 (2005), pp. 125-127.


Arab-American Faces and Voices: The Origins of an Immigrant Community offers a detailed history of the lives of Arab immigrants in Worcester, Massachusetts. Elizabeth Booshada conducted primary source research, interviewed nearly 200 people, and documented the immigrants' stories of their families' lives from 1880-1915. The author's personal and family connections to the community, in combination with the candid interview excerpts, provide a fascinating and much needed account of a people who survived, thrived in, and helped to create an important part of American society.

The book's main focus is to describe, from the perspectives of elderly immigrants of mainly Christian Arab ancestry, their experiences in the United States. Booshada gives a brief history of the Arab world at the time of their migration, and each chapter provides extensive depictions of their neighborhoods, workplaces, traditions, education, culture, the process of Americanization, and the legacies that they left to their progeny.