How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

by

Moustafa Bayoumi

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Wisam Character Analysis

An Iraqi Lina meets on the internet and falls in love with, even though they never end up as anything more than friends. About two years after they meet, the FBI informs Lina that Wisam is a spy working for Saddam Hussein, and he spends almost two years in prison before being deported to Jordan. Lina is horrified to hear both that he is incarcerated and that he may have been deceiving her; at first, she is unsure whom to trust, but after visiting Wisam repeatedly in prison, she begins to feel that he is probably guilty.
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Wisam Character Timeline in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

The timeline below shows where the character Wisam appears in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Lina
Arab American Identities Theme Icon
Growing Up and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...connects with a group of Iraqis on the internet and falls for one of them, Wisam, although they remain only close friends and never date. (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Growing Up and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...father is incensed, but his neighbors and coworkers in the prison system change his mind. Wisam’s sister Rana, the daughter of an Iraqi diplomat, is clearly disappointed. Lina goes to Virginia... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
...Friday in 2003, the FBI comes to Lina’s house and politely interrogates her about Rana, Wisam, and their other brother Ra’ed, who is apparently a spy—one of his friends is planning... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Rana and the family’s other brother are deported, but “Wisam and Ra’ed were not so lucky.” Lina remembers having been stopped for more than 20... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Growing Up and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...to Brooklyn to work at a short-lived Arab American newspaper. In January 2005, Ra’ed and Wisam are convicted and sentenced to six months’ incarceration for working as foreign spies, but have... (full context)