Circassian Ethnic Identity and History: Background information when reading All-American Muslim Girl

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All-American Muslim Girl

by Nadine Jolie Courtney

All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney X
All-American Muslim Girl by Nadine Jolie Courtney
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  • First Published:
    Nov 2019, 432 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2, 2021, 432 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Catherine M Andronik
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About this Book

Circassian Ethnic Identity and History

This article relates to All-American Muslim Girl

Map of the Caucasus/Circassian regionIn All-American Muslim Girl, Allie Abraham's family is ethnically Circassian, which accounts in part for her fair, reddish blonde hair. As Allie observes, few Americans have ever heard of Circassians, so in the novel she gives a very cursory background that only begins to describe the history and struggles of this group of people. Author Nadine Jolie Courtney, née Haobsh, knows Allie's heritage well; it is her own.

Circassians originally inhabited the northwest Caucasus area, now in southwestern Russia between the Black and Caspian Seas. Historically, the Circassians populated princedoms in the rugged mountains, fighting to maintain their cultural and political independence against the Muslim Mamluk and Ottoman Empires, and then Tsarist Russia. Circassian men and women alike were prized as strong and attractive slaves by their invaders—and many, despite their slave status, cleverly manipulated their way into higher echelons of power beyond their own borders. Circassians ...

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