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The Book of Khalid
Ameen Rihani
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The Book of Khalid

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  102 ratings  ·  13 reviews
This long-awaited re-publication of the first Arab-American novel—inspiration for Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet—deals with Arab/American relations, religious conflict and the American immigrant experience.

Told with great good humor and worldly compassion, and with illustrations by Kahlil Gibran, The Book of Khalid recounts the adventures of two young men, Khalid and Shakib,
ebook, 349 pages
Published June 27th 2009 by Project Gutenberg (first published 1911)
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Nov 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first Arab-American novel, though not as cut-and-dried as that may sound: Rihani was born in Ottoman Syria, spent his teens in the U.S., wrote this book in English when back in his native land, and after its 1911 publication wrote a number of books in English and still more in Arabic. But it's far from a mere curiosity: The depictions of the Arab immigrant experience in New York City are interesting as a social and historical document, but the bulk of the book takes place in the Middle East, ...more
Harry Rutherford
I heard about The Book of Khalid because last year was the centenary of its publication, and there was a burst of publicity to celebrate it as the first Arab-American novel. There's a fuller biography of Rihani here, but here's the snapshot version: Ameen Fares Rihani was born in Lebanon, but the family moved to New York for business when he was eleven. He moved back to Lebanon at 23 for health reasons [and later back to New York and back to Lebanon again] and he wrote books in both English and ...more
David Campbell
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lebanese-American novelist, poet, and essayist Ameen Rihani's complex, quasi-autobiographical narrative of the early 20th century Arab diaspora and the first novel by an Arab-American author written entirely in English. Khalid leaves the Lebanese mountains of his youth behind for Little Syria in Lower New York City and immediately navigates the well-worn cycle of poverty and politics common to the American immigrant experience. True to his classically Arab soul, his pilgrimage (Arabic: "hajj") e ...more
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this, but be warned - it's pretty opaque when it comes to some specific historic and religious/cultural references that run throughout (especially the latter half of the book). If you take time to read the afterword first, and then do some reading on Wahhabism and related topics, as well as early 20th century Arab nationalism, you'll get a lot more out of this than if you know nothing about those topics and just read to the end with brute force. ...more
Karem Mahmoud
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب يستحق المطالعة. انه احد الكتب التي تترك لدى القارئ انطباعاً مختلفاً، لان الكتاب بكافة تفاصيله مختلفة عن السائد ولان شخصياته غير متطابقة مع ما يمكن مقابلته في صفحات الكتب الأخرى.

خالد، هو شخصية الكتاب الأولي والتي حولها تدور قصته؛ من على رفوف مكتبة الخديوي في القاهرة ينبش الكاتب الماهر امين الريحاني قصة خالد، اللبناني- السوري في ذلك الوقت، ابن بعلبك مدينة الشمس، يكشف أحلامه الطفولية والمراهقة ورعونة أفكاره المبهمة، وكيف يهاجر - كمعظم اللبنانيين والسوريين - إلى أميركا، ارض الأحلام "الضائعة"،
Jun 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to read some of it for one of my first semester classes. I remember I enjoyed the style of writing, but some things were very difficult for me to interpret or understand. Had the class not had the help of the professor guiding us along the storyline, I think I would have gotten too frustrated and tossed the book aside. I appreciate it for the historical sense of it, but it might not be for everyone to enjoy.
Jan 01, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose. Amazing a book written over 100 years ago still addresses so many of the same East/West issues. Down to Khalid's vision of an Arab Spring with much the same consequences. An engaging, funny book as well as a little depressing when one realizes all of the wasted opportunity on both sides. ...more
Debbie Zapata
Oct 09, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gutenberg
Couldn't finish it....too dated. ...more
Apr 09, 2011 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marieke by: BBC
i feel like i've read this before....need to get my hands on it. ...more
World Literature Today
This book was featured in the Nota Benes section of the Sept/Oct 2016 issue of World Literature Today Magazine.
Elias Ziade
I couldn't continue this book!!! ...more
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Mar 25, 2012
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Nov 22, 2020
Lakis Fourouklas
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Mar 08, 2012
Jasmine Gadhavi
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Oct 13, 2020
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May 20, 2013
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Mar 20, 2008
Armchair Squid
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Aug 01, 2015
Levan Kiknadze
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Feb 19, 2016
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Jun 04, 2015
Ruth Johnstone
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Jan 30, 2014
Genevieve L.
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Sep 18, 2012
Mesut Bostancı
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Oct 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy read, the plot is very slow, but it's kind of difficult to abandon it. ...more
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May 06, 2013
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Dec 25, 2012
Karem Mahmoud
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Apr 13, 2015
Anne Almquist
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Jul 16, 2011
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May 28, 2015
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Born in Freike, Lebanon, on November 24, 1876, Ameen Rihani was one of six children and the oldest son of a Lebanese Maronite raw silk manufacturer, then a flourishing local industry. His father had commercial ambitions which beckoned him to America. In the summer of 1888, Ferris Rihani, the father, sent his brother and eldest son, Ameen, to the United States and followed a year later.

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132 likes · 39 comments
“And so, the Book of Khalid was written. It is the only one I wrote in this world, having made, as I said, a brief sojourn in its civilised parts. I leave it now where I wrote it, and I hope to write other books in other worlds.” 3 likes
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