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Book Review: Tight Rope by Sahar Abdulaziz

Title: Tight Rope

Author: Sahar Abdulaziz

Publisher: Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

Genre: Dark, Contemporary Fiction

Content Warning: Adult language

Book Blurb:

In a socially and politically divided country after the presidential election, activist and American Muslim Nour Ibrahim prepares to deliver a speech at an anti-hate rally condemning the surge of attacks against people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and anyone else deemed different or disposable. As her inbox overflows with racist, xenophobic threats, she struggles to remain focused, refusing to give in to the fear. Concerns for her safety during the speech mount as one ruthless stalker escalates his terror campaign. Bitter and blinded by hate, he’s not satisfied with merely keeping Nour from speaking out: he threatens to silence her for good.
Stressed by the impending rally, a stabbing pain in her gut, and an Internet psycho who has her in his crosshairs, Nour begins to wonder—which one will kill her first?

In a socially and politically divided country after the presidential election, activist and American Muslim
Nour Ibrahim prepares to deliver a speech at an anti-hate rally condemning the surge of attacks against
people of color, immigrants, Muslims, and anyone else deemed different or disposable. As her inbox
overflows with racist, xenophobic threats, she struggles to remain focused, refusing to give in to the fear.
Concerns for her safety during the speech mount as one ruthless stalker escalates his terror campaign.
Bitter and blinded by hate, he’s not satisfied with merely keeping Nour from speaking out: he threatens to
silence her for good.
Stressed by the impending rally, a stabbing pain in her gut, and an Internet psycho who has her in his
crosshairs, Nour begins to wonder—which one will kill her first

Book Review:

Tight Rope follows the story of Nour Ibrahim, a young African American activist as she struggles to balance the stresses of life, work, politics, and her health. To make matters worse, a stalker bent on causing her physical, psychological and emotional pain plagues her. With the daily increase of racist threats, bigoted taunts, workplace marginalization, and terrorizing gifts from her stalker, Nour continues to focus on her social justice work which includes an upcoming rally she helped organize and plans to speak at. We also meet; Maria, a Hispanic convert and nurse who struggles with her family over her conversion; Zaid, a second generation American Muslim of Arab descent working in his father’s deli struggling to understand and reconcile his father’s attitudes and behaviors toward non-Arab Muslims; Russel, an older white racist, unemployed factory worker who blames immigrants for his failed life and bent on vengeance; Doris, Russel’s angry, depressed wife; Eugene, a ruthless for hire hit man and ex-convicted murderer. All of these lives and stories converge on one massive civil rights stage.

Tight Rope touches on many issues facing the American community, Islamophobia, racism, depression, crime, violence, discrimination, mental and physical illnesses, relationships and so much more. One topic in particular that we don’t see very much in Muslim authored literature but still very important is the overt and covert racism, bigotry, and discrimination within the Muslim community toward African Americans and convert Muslims. Many like to gloss over the topic or dismiss it completely causing disunity within not just the Ummah, but within families as well. Another topic I took to heart is our failing attention to our health, especially as a woman and an African American. We put our health on the back burner until often it is too late.

I enjoyed how the author pulled all these topics to the surface and addressed them; making excuses for no one, including our young activist who fails to report her cyber attacker and her deteriorating health under the guise of being too busy or not wanting to worry anyone. She makes no excuses for the obvious discrimination and prejudice within the immigrant Muslim community toward non-immigrant Muslims and converts. I could have done without the excessive adult language throughout the story but the author did keep it %100 true to life.

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Title: Tight Rope
Author: Sahar Abdulaziz
Genre: Dark, Contemporary Fiction,
Content/Theme(s): Socio-Political Thriller, Islamophobia, Xenophobia