The identity crisis and memory: A discussion of anti-islamism, xenophobia and racism in leila aboulela's short story "the ostrich"
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Last two decades have witnessed dramatic increases in anti-Islamism, xenophobia, and racism in Asia, Europe, and the USA particularly in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. This paper argues how Leila Aboulela represents this rising anti-Islamic, xenophobic, and racist attitudes and discourses in her short story The Ostrich. the paper is simply divided into two parts. The first part closely examines how anti-Islamic, anti-Muslim and racial discourses and attitudes create in the story a sense of identity crisis through Aboulela's representation of her chief character Samra who feels herself psychologically and physically crippled, abused and alienated in the UK. The second part of the paper discusses how Aboulela invents a strategy of memory, which keeps her character Samara psychologically alive, "intact" and "unchanged" in the face of humiliation, disgrace, ostracism, and exclusion. In the story, Samra often recalls her beautiful memories with the Ostrich, her classmate at the college, as well as her memories of how her country provided her with a sense of belonging, dignity, grace, security, and unity. The paper discusses, therefore, how memory heals Samra's injured psyche and keeps her alive and intact amid her identity crisis caused by the rising anti-Islamic, xenophobic, and racist attitudes and discourses in the UK. © 2020 Karadeniz Technical University. All rights reserved.