“I was their American Dream” By: Malaka Gharib

  1. Pathos/logos: Hi there! My name is Jennie Ngo and I am here to tell you about the best selling graphic novel “I was their American Dream” by Malaka Gharib. I’m sure many of us who clicked on this blog may or maybe not be a first generation student, whether you are first in your family to graduate high school or go to college you have came to the right place. This non-fiction story that tales the story of a teenage girl navigating through high school, she being brought up by two immigrant parents with full of expectations heavily influenced by their culture. The mom having Philippines values and the dad is Egyptian in which condirects values of an being an All-American. However, with that being said she also faces biracial conflicts of not knowing which culture she fits most into. Her struggles emplify the struggles of many teens, young adults, and or adults face in this world reflecting her experience in this shared struggle with many other first generation kids.
First Generation College Celebration // First-generation College Students  // Marquette University

2. Ethos: From my perspective, I see this graphic novel can be implemented into school ranging from elementary to high school as a fun educational book to acknowledge this similar life experience for many. This story cultivates the millions of immigrant parents coming to America for a search of a better life for their children, and to be able to achieve the American dream themselves through their children often. Children and parents investing thick and thin to find that upholder promises seeking something great for them. With her two culturally valued stricken parents, with so much tough love, it wasn’t thought out okay to be doing teenage antics. These antics meaning how she started to have crushes on these teen skater boys, but within her cultural standards it was not okay to have these feelings which left her confused not being able to express herself in front of her parents. Critics such as Marissa Moss, from New York Journal of books wrote “In this time when immigration is such a hot topic, Malaka Gharib puts an engaging human face on the issue. . . . The push and pull first-generation kids feel is portrayed with humor and love, especially humor.”

Book link:I was their American Dream

3. Framing/Repition: The complexity of Malaka comes from here heritage and culture values. What does this mean? It is said her mother is born and raised in the Philippines and her father is from Egypt being Egyptian. Her mother’s values consist of family nothing is better family not even friends, spend time with family more. Faith and Religion is another big one, honoring God to the highest extent and respect. Her father’s value have similar ties to faith and religion to her mother but other values may be in the way of each other. Egyptian values include balance and harmony between you and the god which you implement into everyday life. They want their children to live by this and reduce of relationships other than God and Family. The authority or head of the household is usually the male father, his daughter is expected to follow everything her father wishes for her to do. It is hard for Malaka to please both her mother and father being bi-racial.

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