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Synopsis

Arwa El Masri is a child of many countries. She was born in Saudi Arabia, lived in America for a time, and yet, as the daughter of Palestinian migrants, Arwa did not have a country that she could call home. Her parents came to Australia to give all their daughters the greatest gift they could, somewhere they could belong. It took a teenage Arwa time to find her way in her new country and to reconcile her Muslim faith with her life as a young woman in western Sydney. But slowly Australia got under her skin . . . and into her heart. She lost her accent and stopped being startled when kookaburras laughed. She met her future husband, Hazem El Masri, in the most unlikely way. But he was not who she thought she should marry. Getting to know him made Arwa look at her own prejudice, reassess what was important to her and how she wanted to live her life. Her grandmother?s wisdom helped guide her. When she was twenty-three and newly married, this Aussie girl who loved John Farnham and Vegemite decided it was time for her to wear the veil. The first time she went out in public with it on she was shocked. Many assumed she did not speak English or that her husband had told her what to wear. Both were incorrect. Through telling her story, Arwa shows the importance of belonging for everyone and how alike we all are. Regardless of faith, we are all looking for the same things: safety, love, and a sense of home . . .

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