Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish: Analysis and Revaluation

  • Mariwan Hasan Department of English, College of Basic Education, University of Sulaimani, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq
  • Latef Noori Department of English, College of Education, University of Kirkuk, Kirkuk, Iraq http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0188-5344
Keywords: Diaspora, Assimilation, Culture, Quran, Judaism, Love


Apparently the best and yet the most famous work by Ayad Akhtar is American Dervish which was published in 2012. It has gained quick attention, but not by many, as a debut novel about the identity issue. Yet, no studies have been devoted to studying the novel from an analytical point of view of Pakistani-American migrants’ issues in America, in general. However, the novel has received some attention, there remain some aspects, in our view, and an essential aspect amongst them is the analytical study of the novel, which is not explored yet. In general migrants to new countries will usually face difficulty and especially if they are followers of a different religion. Also, the difference in their culture with culture of the country they migrate to will be an obstacle in integrating themselves into the new culture as seen in the character of Hayat Shah’s father; whereas to some extent different for Hayat himself. Hayat befriends a Jewish girl and neglects Islam and similarly his father becomes friend with a Jewish teacher, Nathan. It is not easy for the migrant people to integrate into the American culture and tolerate the other religious beliefs such as Judaism as it is quite a novel experience for them. The migrants obligingly ignore their surrender to their own Islamic religion and assimilate into the Judaism and American culture, which is very difficult.  These are the two key aspects that the paper focuses on by analyzing and highlighting the challenges that Hayat Shah and his family members face in America. Akhtar demonstrates the difficulty for the migrant characters between either choosing Islam or Judaism or secularism to be able to live like Americans.


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Author Biographies

Mariwan Hasan, Department of English, College of Basic Education, University of Sulaimani, Sulaymaniyah, Kurdistan Region, Iraq

Mariwan Nasradeen Hasan, English Department, College of Basic Education, University of Sulaimani, Sulaimania, Kurdistan Region- Iraq

He is interested in modernist literature post-modernist literature as well as comparative literature. He has authored and co-authored several books from them: The Image of Modern Man in T. S. Eliot’s Poetry, Modernism: A Critical Introduction, T.S. Eliot and Modern Literature, Where the River Flows: A Critical Study of T. S. Eliot’s Essays, T.S. Eliot: Critical Essays and Literary Stylistics: Literature and Language. He is a member of the editorial board of several journals worldwide, from them: Acuity Journal and Nobel Journal of culture, Art and Literature. He has been working as a general editor for some conferences in Khazar University in Azerbaijan and Mazanderan University in Iran. He has written many academic papers published by different journals throughout the world.

Latef Noori, Department of English, College of Education, University of Kirkuk, Kirkuk, Iraq

Latef Noori is a professor and he is the author and co-author of several books and papers. He is a specialist in modern novel and has been teaching various subjects to BA., MA. And PhD students from them literary criticism and novel. He has been teaching in several places including Erbil University, San’a University, Kirkuk University and recently Al Kitab University, where he is Vice of President for scientific Affairs. 


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How to Cite
Hasan, M., & Noori, L. (2021, December 28). Ayad Akhtar’s American Dervish: Analysis and Revaluation. UKH Journal of Social Sciences, 5(2), 6-13. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.25079/ukhjss.v5n2y2021.pp6-13
Research Articles