The Flying Camel: Essays on Identity by Women of North African and Middle Eastern Jewish Heritage Paperback


Like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes, the seventeen women of The Flying Camel boldly emerge from the wreckage of their ancient civilizations and invite readers on an intimate journey of self-discovery, creativity, and defiance. Drawing from personal and ancestral memories, amidst the pursuit of soul-filled dreams and longings, anthology contributors navigate geopolitical upheaval and cultural homelessness, crisscrossing four continents and stepping back and forth through the spiritual portals of time. Nothing is quite as it seems, we learn, with identity constructs, loyalties, and politics dependent on so many variables that, ultimately, the borders perhaps dissolve into the greater expansiveness of who we are.

Alternately raw and fierce, vulnerable and tender, these gripping stories are deeply personal and uniformly honest, providing a secret passageway deep below the narrow scripts and slogans of today’s identity politics, and leading straight into the chamber of the heart. Reflecting a diversity of experience and perspective, and drawing from a collective wealth of knowledge, the stories naturally weave through topics including exile, body image, sexuality, class division, religious practice, domestic violence, the Middle East conflict, and other pertinent issues, in ways that are both insightful and refreshing.

With the original edition published in 2003 – taught at prestigious universities and featured in top media internationally – The Flying Camel 2022 edition remains ahead of the curve and includes new material:

  • A cover and introduction featuring celebrity Yemenite-Israeli band A-WA, along with a musical framework for understanding issues addressed throughout the anthology
  •  A preface sharing how the book was birthed into being and how to use it today
  • Original poems by editor Loolwa Khazzoom, matched with the themes of each essay in the book; and a comprehensive study guide for book clubs and university courses.

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