An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice

An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice

by Khizr Khan

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399592515
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 114,553
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Khizr Khan, the eldest of ten children, was born in rural Pakistan in 1950. He moved to the United States with his wife, Ghazala, in 1980. The couple became American citizens and raised their three sons in Silver Spring, Maryland. Their middle son, U.S. Army captain Humayun Khan, a graduate of the University of Virginia and its Army ROTC program, was killed in 2004 while stopping a suicide attack near Baqubah, Iraq, and was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Khizr Khan holds a B.A. degree from the University of the Punjab, an LL.B. from Punjab University Law College, and an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. He is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States, the District of Columbia Bar, the New York State Bar, and the American Bar Association. Khan’s law practice includes complex civil litigation, electronic discovery, health privacy compliance law, and civil rights and veterans’ rights advocacy. He and Ghazala live in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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Chapter 1
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Excerpted from "An American Family"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Khizr Khan.
Excerpted by permission of Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Table of Contents

Introduction ix

Chapter 1 Shoeless in a Shaft of Sunlight 3

Chapter 2 Twenty-One Sparrows 32

Chapter 3 A Stick Becomes a Ney 57

Chapter 4 Tomorrow Will Be Better 77

Chapter 5 The Wonders of the DMV 113

Chapter 6 Already American 138

Chapter 7 No Man Is Complete Until His Education Is Complete 147

Chapter 8 Shining City 165

Chapter 9 Baba 188

Chapter 10 Always Be a River 222

Chapter 11 God Is Found Among the People 229

Afterword 265

Acknowledgments 269

A Reader's Guide 273

Reading Group Guide

The founding documents of the United States illustrate the importance and power of ideas, but they require the actions of men and women to make them real. If after finishing An American Family you’d like to enact change and embody the ideals that the Founding Fathers enshrined in our nation’s government, here are a few ways to demonstrate your own commitment to equality and justice.
Action Guide

Live by example. Tell people who are speaking up on behalf of others or whom you see being mistreated that you stand with them.

Read newspapers, watch the news, and be aware of multiple angles of a story. Form your own opinions, and judge news sources carefully before sharing stories with others.

Attend peaceful demonstrations on behalf of causes you believe in to show your support.

Vote in local as well as national elections. Put them on your calendar early and keep your registration up to date. Research candidates ahead of time.

If you see someone under verbal attack or facing insults based on their race, religion, or appearance, stand by them. Look up and attend bystander-­training courses in your area to learn what you can do to halt scenes of injustice.

Know and contact your representatives in Congress, in your state legislature, and in local government. Look online for public events and town halls with your representatives and make a point of attending. You’ll not only have a chance to get to know your representatives and voice your opinion, but you’ll learn about the concerns of your neighbors and build your community.

Consider running for office yourself, especially in local races.

Speak out when you see injustice, and engage those close to you in conversation and debate when their opinions are unjust. Listen to others’ opinions and experiences. Look for common ground between people.

Read the Constitution and keep a copy close, as
I do.

1. Discuss Khizr Khan’s relationship with his grandparents. What did he carry with him from his grandfather?

2. People often have ideas about what it means to be an immigrant or who immigrants are. Did An American Family change your view of immigration? Why or why not?

3. When Khizr began law school, what struck him about the Declaration of Independence? How did it compare to other founding documents? Have you ever had a strong reaction to reading the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution?

4. What drew Khizr and Ghazala together? What did you think about their relationship?

5. What were some of Khizr’s first observations of the United States? How did this early experience of the country influence his long-­term opinion of it? Did his first impression fit with how you see the country?

6. It’s no secret that many people complain about a visit to the DMV. Why was Khizr’s approach to it so different? Did it change your view of the DMV (or any other institutions)?

7. Did you immigrate to the United States, or have any of your family or friends done so? Discuss your (or their) experience of moving to a new country.

8. Do you think having a family influenced the Khans’ decision to stay in the United States? How did raising a family here seem different than it would have been in Pakistan? Can you imagine raising children in a country where you did not grow up?

9. Why did the Khans decide to pursue U.S. citizenship? What did they gain and sacrifice with this decision? Can you imagine making a similar choice?

10. What values did the Khans hope to instill in their sons? How did the boys reflect Khizr and Ghazala as they grew up and attended college? How was their experience of young adulthood different from Khizr’s and Ghazala’s?

11. How did Khizr and Ghazala choose to honor their son, Captain Humayun Khan? How did they find meaning in his death?

12. What drove Khizr to speak at the Democratic National Convention? What did you think of his decision to get involved in politics, and how did his politics evolve over time? What issues drive you to get involved (in politics or otherwise)?

13. If you’ve read the Constitution, do you have a favorite part or amendment? What do you like about it?

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An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Sacrifice 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
MickeyMN 3 months ago
If anyone saw this father speak at the Democratic National Convention and Trump's disgusting response should read this story of the Khan's family journey to American citizenship. It is an account of their devotion to America and all it offers. So many Americans take our country for granted and don't even come close to the regard for our freedom that this Pakistani family has. I could hardly put this book down. It is a very good book and I highly recommend it.
MickeyMN 3 months ago
If anyone saw this father speak at the Democratic National Convention and Trump's disgusting response should read this story of the Khan's family journey to American citizenship. It is an account of their devotion to America and all it offers. So many Americans take our country for granted and don't even come close to the regard for our freedom that this Pakistani family has. I could hardly put this book down. It is a very good book and I highly recommend it.
Anonymous 3 months ago
Heartfelt and thoughtful story about the two worlds this author experienced and how it shaped him and his family Recommend highly
Anonymous 3 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago