Massoud HayounApr 21, 2021
When We Were Arabs
A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History
New Press 2019
When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History (New Press, 2019) is part-memoir, part-history of Jewish Arabs. We follow Massoud Hayoun as he documents his family’s history, their place in the Arab world and how they came to America, as well as engage with how Massoud engages with his own sense of identity.
Massoud Hayoun is a journalist and author based in Los Angeles. He has reported for Al Jazeera English, Pacific Standard, Anthony Bourdain's Parts Uknown online, The Atlantic, Agence France-Presse, and South China Morning Post. He speaks several languages. He won a 2015 EPPY Award for an investigative feature on Chinese business in Latin America. He won a 2019 Frank McCourt Memoir Prize from The Southhampton Review. His book, When We Were Arabs, which he co-authored with his grandmother, was listed as a best book of the year in 2019 by NPR, Middle East Eye, and several other publications.
Nadirah Mansour is a graduate student at Princeton University's Department of Near Eastern Studies working on the global intellectual history of the Arabic-language press. She tweets @NAMansour26 and produces another Middle-East and North Africa-related podcast: Reintroducing.