Top positive review
15 September 2016
I grew up in a rural town in NSW - alongside people of a wide range of ethnicities and religious pathways - my own narrow fundamentalist Protestant not too far removed from the Shiite strictures recounted by Osamah in this marvelous romp across the world. I caught Osamah on a recent late night ABC TV repeat (I presume) with Benjamin LAW - a brilliant conversation while playing Ten-Pin Bowls - ranging across the different yet similarly parallel lives leading to their writerly callings! I must purchase Good Muslim Boy - and did so immediately - via Australian Amazon Kindle. By the start of the second chapter it began to dawn on me that the story was familiar - and not from the program I had just seen. I checked my iBooks library - and there it was - purchased a year earlier - and read to that precise point. So thanks Osamah - two on-line libraries - one iBooks, the other my Kindle app - holding your brilliant book. Now just completed. Many years ago when I was your age now I was reading and studying contemporary Aussie Literature with cultural diversity as its essence...in order to use its mirror to reflect for my students - secondary and adult - the realities of our Australia. So how I loved your book - your honesty - your ability to write the all horrors which are part of your life and story so wonderfully leavened by humour - and for it to have all turned out so well, so far! I have lived in three lands where my mother-tongue was NOT the national language - in Spain, in Germany and in Japan - your asides on aspects of languages and language-learning all resonate. Back in the early 1980s Tom Keneally had an amazing success with the true yet scarcely believable story of Oskar Schindler - with Schindler's Ark (later with the Spielberg movie becoming known as Schindler's List) - and as he wrote in a SMH article concerning that book - lots of people came up to him to describe themselves as among that group of Oskar Schindler survivors - or else with even more amazing stories of Jewish survivors of the Nazi era - one a member of the SS, another in the Luftwaffe - and he reflected on the many thousands of Cool Hand Lukes living in our midst in Australia - people whose courage and survival-against-the-odds he felt gave our nation a collective backbone of some strength. Your story fits those parameters. Bravo! Thank god for your life in our world - and especially here in Australia! It might not necessarily be your intent - but what a corrective you are to the extremes of our contemporary political skulduggery - in relation to Islamophobia and to the dreadful treatment of asylum-seekers on Manus and in Nauru. Wahe Thnen Klatha Aba'a Hamsa Sitta Sava Manya Tissa Ashra - taught to me by the most beautiful girl from Baghdad - when I was 17.