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Oral History Interview with Moustafa Bayoumi, September 25, 2018

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Moustafa Bayoumi discusses growing up in an Egyptian academic family in Kingston, Ontario. He expands on his own studies, especially pursuing his PhD at Columbia University; teaching at Brooklyn College; and becoming an author. He also speaks about American politics and law enforcement, especially surrounding the surveillance of Muslim American students at Brooklyn College; racial profiling in New York City; the consistent presence of Islamophobia throughout both Democratic and Republican presidential administrations; and the escalation in Islamophobia he has observed during the Trump administration. In addition, he touches on the broader demographic changes and gentrification in Brooklyn. Interview conducted by Liz H. Strong.

Biographical / Historical

Moustafa Bayoumi was born in 1966 in Z├╝rich, Switzerland. His family immigrated to Canada when he was a toddler and settled in Kingston, Ontario, where his parents taught at the local college. He moved to New York City in 1990 to attend graduate school at Columbia University. After earning his doctor of philosophy, he taught postcolonial literature at Brooklyn College. He was a prolific author on issues surrounding Islam and the Arab world, regularly appearing in The Guardian, The Progressive, and other similar publications. He also wrote the books How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America in 2008 and This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror in 2015.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at the Center for Brooklyn History's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201