The Hookah Girl

and Other True Stories

In this current political climate, being a Palestinian is a hazard. However, there are common grounds where East meets West. The Hookah Girl is a semi-autobiographical graphic novel of a childhood as a Christian Palestinian in America. Told in short stories and with narrative ranging from growing up in a refugee family to how to roll waraq (stuffed grape leaves), this book is an account of living in two seemingly different cultures that actually aren’t very different at all.



"Marguerite Dabaie navigates the swirling confluence of Palestinian heritage and American culture in these proud, poignant, and humorous stories of her upbringing."

– Joe Sacco, author of Palestine and Footnotes in Gaza

“Reading The Hookah Girl, I felt like I was sitting in Dabaie’s childhood home, surrounded by family, home cooking, laughter and stories of their homeland. This is a book that, like its author, refuses to squeeze itself into a box: full of heartbreak and humor, history and pride. I’m so glad that this collection of comics in all their intricate, loving detail are finally available to a wider readership. It's about time.”

– Sarah Glidden, author of How to Understand Israel in 60 Days and Rolling Blackouts

"Through personal anecdotes, essays, and history lessons, the comix stories of The Hookah Girl confront the expectations thrust upon a young Palestinian-American woman. By turns serious and joyful—but always honestly—Dabaie adds a vital perspective to the ongoing conversation.”

– Josh Neufeld, author of A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge

"The Hookah Girl is a blast of honest, wry and raw humor from the heart and the brain of Marguerite Dabaie, who refuses to buy the official line on anything. Here is the straight scoop not just on being a young Arab woman in the West, but how to be in a society challenged, as never before, to reconcile its democratic ethos with its (now officially sanctioned) legacy of intolerance. Her art takes us to important and forbidden places ... and we are all enriched.”

– Steve Brodner, illustrator, caricaturist, and political commentator

"Marguerite Dabaie is brilliant, and Hookah Girl is a revelation!"

– Randa Jarrar, President and Executive Director, Radius of Arab American Writers; author of Him, Me, Muhammad Ali

"Hookah Girl invites you into the beauty and complexity of Dabaie’s Arab-American experience and its negotiation: come for the comics, stay for the grape leaves."

The Comics Journal

"While gently provocative, The Hookah Girl is primarily entertaining, a brief but engaging glimpse inside one artist’s dizzying life experiences."


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