The Wandering Palestinian: A Memoir
By Anan Ameri
BHC Press, 2020
Reviewed by Dianna Wray on August 25, 2021
A founding director of the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, Anan Ameri picks up her second memoir, covering 31 years, beginning from her 1974 travels from Beirut. She was 29 years old traveling to Detroit to marry a Lebanese American man she’s just met. “It was love at first sight—the kind of love … that sweeps you off your feet,” she recounts. Ameri, the daughter of Palestinian refugees who raised her to be an independent, modern woman, suddenly finds herself isolated by language and culture barriers in a country she never wanted to visit. “I lost my independence, and I lost my identity,” she writes. It’s in Ameri’s struggles to adjust—to her traditionally-minded husband and the US—that the book truly comes alive. With humor and hard-earned wisdom, Ameri conveys how being an outsider in a strange land ultimately led her to true fulfillment.