“Behzad Yaghmaian’s intimate, horrifyingly vivid account of the plight of Muslim refugees… takes us deep into the souls of the men and women he befriends, following them from the chaotic human bazaar of Istanbul to Sofia, Athens, Paris, and beyond.” —Mother Jones
"A gripping tale of hardship, adventure and yearning, of hopes raised and dashed, and of troubled and sometimes heroic adaptations to refugee camps…. One of many strengths of this book is to show … what strangely mixed motives impel these brave, complicated people. A masterful storyteller, Yaghmaian reveals many layers to the refugees’ personalities and histories, and some to his own."—The San Francisco Chronicle
“An El Norte or Grapes of Wrath for the Muslim world–affecting, immediate and well written.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“A riveting account of the hardships and survival strategies of Muslim migrants who are trying to make their way to the West. Embracing the Infidel adds an entirely new and human dimension to our understanding of migration and asylum issues.”—Dr. Jeff Crisp, Director of Policy and Research, Global Commission on International Migration
"Journalists like myself should be doing more work like this….Yaghmaian offers the reader vivid descriptions of the waterfront street bazaars in Istanbul, the migrant ghettos of Athens, and the creepy underworld of human smugglers….He shares the touching, often disturbing oral histories of these modern-day hobos. They "ride the rails"; paddling across seas in rubber rafts and crossing snow-covered mountains on foot without maps or compasses. By the end, you realize the clash of civilizations is not one of religions violently colliding, but of the poor who are desperately trying to get to the West, to share the freedoms, wealth and stability that we so often take for granted.”—Ivan Watson, National Public Radio
"An immensely remarkable book; a clear humane and startling account of the perils, sufferings and anxiety which both forced and economic migrants have to go through in order to reach the West. This book marks a return to civilized discussion of the need to proactively address questions related to the root causes of contemporary migration. Equally significantly, it also emphasizes the need to ensure that States respect the human rights of refugees and other sorts of migrants."—Jose Fischel de Andrade, Center of International Studies, University of Cambridge
“With none of the rambling typical of unedited oral histories, Yaghmaian tells these unforgettable stories with terse drama, combing his sympathetic commentary with the immediacy of rich, diverse voices.” —Booklist
From the Hardcover edition.