This is an often hilarious, equally moving, and always entertaining memoir of trying to find your place in the world — from the martyr-strewn graveyards of the Iran-Iraq border to the peaceful streets of suburban Melbourne. Good Muslim Boy is an enlightening and affectionate account of the struggles many new Australians face in balancing the demands of the society they left behind and those of their new home. Ostracised as Iraqi Arab refugees in Persian Iran at the height of the Iran-Iraq war, Osamah Sami’s family, led by his wise, compassionate father, arrive in a country as alien to them as Iran must be to many Australians. With humour and grit, they adjust to their new home with the same spirit and courage that helped them survive the post-revolutionary theocracy.
A gripping tale of exile and return, Good Muslim Boy alternates between Sami’s journey to Australia and to adulthood, and the often harrowing and heartbreaking account of Sami’s last trip to Iran with his father. It is a powerful saga about discovering the true meaning of home. Sami deftly uses humour and a light, compassionate touch in this deeply affecting and thoughtful memoir.
Constantly subverting stereotypes and confounding expectations, Sami is a master of comic writing, particularly in the candid depictions of his adolescent misadventures and the culture shocks he later experiences in his new homeland. Equally, Sami does not shy from describing the horrors of war and death, and he does so with raw and sometimes unflinching honesty. An inspiring account of survival, Good Muslim Boy is a beautifully written memoir that offers a powerful and hopeful message of love, understanding and universal humanity.