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Everyone has a story to tell. Sometimes they just need some encouragement to start the words flowing. In Adnan Salhi’s thoughtful Reading Our Lives: Writing Our True Stories, the encouragement comes in the form of other students’ stories, told in their own words. Salhi challenged his developmental writing class to write their own histories. He began by writing his own story and sharing it with them. This collection of personal narratives is powerful and affecting; many of Salhi’s students relate their experiences of war, abuse, and extreme poverty before emigrating to the United States.
While any reader would be captivated by the varied stories offered here, this text will be particularly useful for ESL and developmental students in writing and reading classes. The stories have high interest value but a fairly easy vocabulary level, so that even beginning English readers will be able to access them. The tales show students that their peers can overcome enormous challenges, providing inspiration. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, this collection will demonstrate to students that they too have important stories to tell and share.
Foreword by Adnan Salhi v
Betrayed by Adnan Salhi 1
The Mirage by Adnan Salhi 7
Family by Housien Gomah 21
The Beginning of Me by Katrina Hart-Kyser 31
Two Years of My Life by Hani Awazem 41
Two Brothers by Shannon Vick 55
My Numbers by James Bullock 59
From Lebanon to Saudi Arabia by Marwa Faraj 67
Between East and West by Hawra Heshmati 71
The Promise by Amanda Dixon 75
Red Night by Ikram Shaker 89
Dark Days and Sunny Nights by Janae Wright 97
Love for the Game by Tyler Boitnott 107
The ups and Downs in the Life by Mohamad Hijazi 117
of an Arab American
The life of a Young Aspiring Detroiter by De’Andre Wafer 125
Where Do I Belong? by Hussein Awda 129
American Arab Girl by Seena Alsiyaghy 137
Shattered but Not Broken by QuTrell Murray 141
Lost Time Is Never Found Again by Mariam Maatouk 147
The Journey Inside of My Heart by Zeinab Aljebury 155
The Evolution of the Soul by Jaleel Salhi 163
Adnan Salhi is a Reading and Language Instructor at Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Michigan. This book grew out of one of his developmental writing classes.