Book Review: American by Choice by Farouk Shami
Just weeks ago, Shami reinforced his name recognition as a sponsor and judge on the 2013 Miss Universe Pageant. Farouk Systems was a presenting hair care sponsor of the internationally celebrated beauty pageant. He appeared along with rock superstar Steven Tyler, Olympic Gold Medal figure skater Tara Lipinski and Carol Alt, the former supermodel and health specialist on the far rightwing FOX Cable TV network.
Who is Farouk Shami? Probably one of the best known American Palestinians in the country. And this year, he released his official biography, self-published, “American by Choice” which offers a fascinating look into the immigrant life of a successful American Palestinian, overcoming prejudice, illness and rivalries.
It’s hard to be a Palestinian and not be somewhat controversial. His success has forced mainstream America to accept him as an equal and he often found himself next to controversial leaders including former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, which he discusses in the opening chapter of his book. “I was born in Palestine, but I was made in the USA,” he writes proudly.
In accepting a recognition as “Entrepreneur of the Year” at a Washington D.C. gala, Gingrich acknowledged Shami’s Palestinian heritage, even though in a high profile public appearance two years earlier when he claimed that “Palestinians” were “an invented people,” one of the most ridiculous and politically motivated comments of the 21st Century.
In “American by Choice,” Shami offers a frank story of his family and his life, beginning with his birth in Palestine, introducing us to his parents and his brothers, and their constant travels to the United States. His experiences during the June 1967 Arab-Israeli War are as chilling to read today as they were to live through years ago. Yet through it all, Shami managed to remain loyal to his cultural heritage while committed to his adopted home country, America.
American by Choice
$19.99 252 pages
Farouk Shami on Amazon.com
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