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Armed only with college Arabic and restless curiosity, author Adam Valen Levinson set out to “learn about the world 9/11 made us fear.” While politicians and media eagerly stroke the flames of Islamophobia, Valen Levinson crosses borders with abundant humor and humanity. Seeking common ground everywhere, he finds that people who pray differently often laugh the same. He became a bar mitzvah at twenty-one (instead of the usual thirteen), and slowly learned how childish it was to live by decisions and distinctions born of fear. The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah is his story.
“Adam Valen Levinson is too young to have written a book this good: eloquent, analytical, funny, sad. The Middle East is a wondrous and strange and supernatural place, hard to articulate in all the different shades and shadows. But Levinson absolutely nailed it in a brilliant first book.” —Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights
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