How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

by

Moustafa Bayoumi

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Yasmin’s Father Character Analysis

He helps Yasmin appeal to the student affairs coordinator in an attempt fight the school policy that excludes her from serving in student government. The school administration derides him for supposedly trying to “control [his] daughter,” perpetuating stereotypes that Muslim women are powerless and controlled by men. In fact, he supports rather than directs Yasmin’s decisions: while he is invested in Yasmin’s legal battle, he also knows they cannot afford the legal fees that CAIR wants to charge them, but is happy when his daughter finds pro bono representation through Advocates for Children; while he hopes that Yasmin will become a doctor, she ultimately decides to go to law school instead. He is an Egyptian Muslim but married a Filipina Catholic (Yasmin’s mother) who converted to Islam.
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Yasmin’s Father Character Timeline in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

The timeline below shows where the character Yasmin’s Father appears in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Yasmin
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Arab American Identities Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...up wearing the hijab and attending Muslim private girls’ schools; she is devoutly religious. Yasmin’s father is an Egyptian Muslim while her mother is a Filipina Catholic who converted to Islam.... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
...student government requires her to go. Their argument reaches a standstill; the administrator calls Yasmin’s father, who consults a sheikh (a Muslim community leader). The sheikh agrees that Yasmin cannot go—she... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...she has to go to the dance or else resign. The coordinator meets with her father and then with Yasmin, who protests and cites the Federal Equal Access Act. But the... (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
At home, in her father’s tiny office, Yasmin begins printing and organizing files about anti-discrimination laws and the school’s “Bill... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
...of my beliefs.” The principal calls her in for a meeting and insists that Yasmin’s father, not the school, is to blame and has the power to choose whether she would... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Faith, Tradition, and Islam Theme Icon
Growing Up and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
...Mariam gets a letter from the Student Organization rejecting her addition to the application. Yasmin’s father threatens to sue the school, but he and Yasmin’s mother also insist that Yasmin is... (full context)
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...he says, but it will cost thousands of dollars to bring to trial, and Yasmin’s father cannot afford this price tag. Yasmin notes when the student affairs coordinator lets Greek students... (full context)
Growing Up and Self-Discovery Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...and, at the time of this book’s publication, is in a master’s program. Although Yasmin’s father always wanted her to be a doctor, she decides to go to law school. (full context)