That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy
ISBN: 9781524856229 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781524861964 (ebook)
ASIN: B084DL8K2R (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: March 10, 2020
Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.
So relevant in today’s evolving cultural climate, Fahmy’s story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition.
Imagine you’re a twenty-something-year-old female in a conservative Muslim American family. You’re not allowed to date and you’re not really interested in dating, but you are interested in getting married. (Certain Muslim cultures just don’t allow for dating y’all, get over it.) All of your friends are getting married. Your sisters are getting married. You, on the other hand, are not. This was Huda Fahmy’s life. Huda wasn’t seeking an “arranged marriage” per se, but she was looking for something akin to the marriages found in Jane Austen novels. As a matter of fact, she actually refers to Jane Austen novels in her search for the perfect husband. Muslims (and other cultures) prepare a dossier or “biodata” that is used to “match” compatible couples when all else fails, and at this point in Huda’s life, all else had pretty much failed (or had it). What is in this “biodata” you ask? Ms. Fahmy provides the perfect definition in her book:
“biodata (noun): personal information about one’s life, work, family, personality, goals, financial status, values, beliefs, health history, favorite Pokémon, and other preferences about things both religious and secular. Think super-detailed Tinder profile, except instead of dating, they’d get married.”
That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story is a quick read but one that had me laughing out loud, choking on my chai, and bookmarking pages to return and read later. Any author/artist that can reference Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, and Pokémon in one book is beyond amazing in my opinion. Huda’s quest and it was a quest, for a husband was rife with hilarity. Although I know her story ended well (I follow her on social media), I was beginning to believe she might actually become a single cat lady at one point. (Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being single or owning cats). She pokes fun at the meddling aunties (trust me, read the book and you’ll understand this reference) and the variety of suitors she encounters throughout her quest. I cheered when she met Gehad and achieved her happily ever after, this is a love story, it says so in the title! FYI, this isn’t every Muslims’ story but it is one specific Muslimah’s story of growing up in this country and her quest to find love and get married within the bounds of her religious beliefs. Ms. Fahmy tells her story with style, grace, respect for the religion, and quite a bit of humor. Although this graphic novel/memoir discusses bits of Muslim culture and the Islamic faith, this is a book that can be read and appreciated by any reader. If you’re into graphic novels, memoirs, humor, or just want a quick read, I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story by Huda Fahmy to read. If you can’t tell, I thoroughly enjoyed That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story and will be re-reading again in the near future. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Fahmy in the future.
Happy Reading y’all!
Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”