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15 May 2010

Colliding Worlds of Hyphenated Citizens

NPR had found a common thread running through the would-be bomber of Times Square, NYC, and Mohsin Hamid's best-selling novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist. However, in the resulting interview, Hamid adroitly sidesteps the neatly cubicle-d analyses to present some heartfelt and intelligent reasoning on the collision of two cultures, the not-unusual internal conflict of a hyphenated citizen, and how we collectively may be able to prevent further such incidences through giving a little space for the dichotomy so that disillusioned persons do not need to choose between being American and being Pakistani, or Western and traditional Muslim or wearing blue jeans and listening to rock & roll and covering one's face and answering the call to prayer five times daily.  The interview was a lovely extension of the ambassadorial work Hamid's novel has done to bring understanding of commonalities while creating a space in which differences can thrive.

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