"From Veils to Thongs" by Dalel B. Khalil



From Veils to Thongs: An Arab Chick’s Survival Guide to Balancing One’s Ethnic Identity in America
Dalel B. Khalil
Create Space • $15.95

In today’s political climate and America’s ongoing war in the Middle East, it is a tough time for any Easterner living in the United States, but even without these external factors, many foreigners fight an eternal battle between tradition and assimilation.

According to Dalel B. Khalil, a University of Pittsburgh graduate and former Pittsburgh resident, this is especially true for Arabic women. In From Veils to Thongs: An Arab Chick’s Survival Guide to Balancing One’s Ethnic Identity in America, Khalil’s first book, she talks about some of the serious issues that Arabic women in the U.S. must deal with and yet often feel powerless to change: “One who is both Arab and American is very often very confused. Her one foot is planted firmly in a traditional world whose cultural rules haven’t changed in over 2,000 years. Her other foot is skidding on a thin piece of ice, the mega-liberal free-for-all, called America. And she is trying to balance walking on both.”

As a Syrian-American who “survived growing up in the cross-fire of two of the most diametrically opposed cultures, the East and the West,” Khalil is no doubt an expert on the subject of assimilation. And though dealing with a potentially serious subject (especially considering the current xenophobic climate of our country), Khalil instead chooses a tongue-in-cheek approach, presenting her ideas as a self-help book—but one that relies heavily on humor to educate and help.

Obviously this book is not intended to be for everyone, but rather it “is for the girl who survived a life full of contradictions—of being raised in one culture while, at the same time, living in the extreme other. And it is for every ethnic minority who, at this very moment, lives directly in the cross fire of the final ‘war of the worlds’—the Old World versus the New World.”
 

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.

The 412

CMU’s Newest Campus-Life Venture Is Decidedly Low Tech

CMU’s Newest Campus-Life Venture Is Decidedly Low Tech

Check your laptop (and your textbook) at the door and stop by the Mindfulness Room for a little zen.
Your Guide to Putting Together a Costume in Less Than 24 Hours

Your Guide to Putting Together a Costume in Less Than 24 Hours

Follow these steps to assemble your best Halloween getup yet.
Could ‘Green Light-Go’ Eliminate the Pittsburgh Left?

Could ‘Green Light-Go’ Eliminate the Pittsburgh Left?

The state-sponsored program looks to add $75 million in traffic-signal upgrades throughout the city.
Google Dedicates Today’s Doodle to Jonas Salk

Google Dedicates Today’s Doodle to Jonas Salk

See a tribute to the late scientist each time you go to look up something today.

Hot Reads

Top 10

Top 10

Here are the 10 best things to do in Pittsburgh this November.
Review: One Thirty One East

Review: One Thirty One East

Located in the southwest suburban community of Carnegie, One Thirty One East embodies the area’s renaissance.
Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

Grow. Cook. Drink.: Maggie Meskey of Butcher and the Rye

The charismatic Maggie Meskey had tended bar for years before landing her gig at downtown bourbon haven Butcher and the Rye.
12 Hot New Restaurants

12 Hot New Restaurants

A diverse crop of eateries caught our attention this year, so we’re highlighting some of our favorites.
Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

Why Things Get Squirrely Near the Tunnels

PittGirl doesn't know why we say "warsh" — but she has figured out why we 'Burghers hit the brakes at the sight of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel.
13 Bartenders You Should Know

13 Bartenders You Should Know

Get acquainted with this group of charming bar professionals working in various establishments around the city.