Massoud Hayoun is a journalist based in Los Angeles, most recently freelancing for Al Jazeera English and Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown online while writing a weekly column on foreign affairs for Pacific Standard. He previously worked as a reporter for Al Jazeera America, The Atlantic, Agence France-Presse, and the South China Morning Post and has been published widely. He speaks and works in five languages and won a 2015 EPPY Award. He lives in Los Angeles.
Praise for When We Were Arabs
"With a clear point of view, Hayoun weaves in his family history with the politics that shaped their lives. When We Were Arabs is a nostalgic celebration of a rich, diverse heritage."
"Hayoun's debut memoir offers a new perspective on world affairs and will be appreciated by readers interested in family histories told through personal narratives."
"Hayoun pieces together a remarkable tale of survival and success, and it is a story worth remembering. A moving and intriguing family history."
"[This] well researched and timely family history will appeal foremost to history lovers, serious amateur genealogists, and those with a particular interest in Jewish Arab identity."
"A masterpiece that reads with the same themes of complexity and romance, pain and longing, that are indigenous to the land of his grandparents, and the entwined Arab and Jewish identity that flourishes on every page of this book."
--Khaled Beydoun, law professor and author of American Islamophobia
"When We Were Arabs wonderfully braids cultural history, memoir, poetics, and politics into a completely unexpected but necessary artistic intervention destined to obliterate our brittle understandings of what is Jewish, Arab, and radically loving. The book is as good as it is important."
--Kiese Laymon, author of Heavy
"When We Were Arabs is not only a deeply researched account of one family's North African history, but one of the best books available on the postcolonial foundations of contemporary Arab American identity. It is nothing short of a triumph."
--Moustafa Bayoumi, author of This Muslim American Life and How Does It Feel to Be a Problem
"A beautifully written, compelling argument for compassion, solidarity, and love, in a time where they are so woefully scarce."
--Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking
"A stunning piece of storytelling, a necessary work of history, and in its portraiture of a lost world, its corniches populated with the great singers and film stars of old, it is a work of poetry."
--Safia Elhillo, author of The January Children
"A rare, multifaceted book that dares tell the story of the Arab Jew as it was without propaganda or prejudice and which chronicles how the nuance that had been there in Jewish Arab political identities disappeared under the onslaught of Zionism."
--Raja Shehadeh, author of Palestinian Walks and Where the Line Is Drawn