Sahar Mustafah : The Beauty of Your Face

The latest addition to my website is Sahar Mustafah‘s The Beauty of Your Face. This novel is set primarily in the Chicago suburbs. However the heroine, Afaf Rahman, like the author, is the daughter of Palestinian immigrants. We follow two alternating stories . The first is Afaf’s story. Her parents did not get on and two key incidents happen in her childhood. After the second her father finds religion (to his wife’s disgust) and regularly attends sessions at the local Islamic centre. Afaf, who as a teenager went somewhat off the rails, joins him and she too becomes very religious. She will go on to become the principal of a Muslim girls school (hijab compulsory) which meets a lot of local opposition. The other story is the day in the life of the school culminating in an attack by a lone gunman (we see things mainly from his point if view) who had previously opposed the school. He will inevitably meet Afaf. Though Afaf and her family are Palestinian, this book is primarily about racism against Muslims as a whole , which we see a lot of in this book.

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