"Running for All the Right Reasons gives new meaning to Tip O’Neill’s famous declaration that ‘all politics is local.’ This wonderful book tells the story of how Ferial Masry, a Muslim woman from Mecca, grew up in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, came to America, and became a community activist, public high school teacher, and politician. Her experiences as the Democratic candidate for California’s 37th Assembly District show how ordinary people really can participate in the democratic political process and effectively work for change at local, national, and international levels."—Nancy Gallagher, University of California, Santa Barbara
"A great American story as well as a great Arab American story. . . . Ferial Masry’s book provides a bridge of understanding about Muslims in America."—Ann Kerr, author of Painting the Middle East
In 2004, Ferial Masry, born in Mecca, became the first Saudi American to run for political office in U.S. history. Masry made a spirited run for the California State Assembly seat in a staunchly Republican district, which sparked worldwide interest. She was ABC’s Person of the Week, was interviewed by Peter Jennings, and made headlines in the New York Times and Associated Press.
A recent immigrant and naturalized citizen with a Middle Eastern accent, Masry’s grassroots campaign succeeded against all odds in winning the write-in vote, a historic victory for all Arab Americans.
Running for All the Right Reasons chronicles Masry’s remarkable life, from her childhood in Mecca and her decision to emigrate to the United States to her career as an educator and her bold entry into the world of politics. Masry’s story, her passionate belief in democracy and commitment to her community, is the stuff of legend.
Ferial Masry is currently running for California State Assembly in the 37th District. She teaches government and history at Cleveland High School in Los Angeles and has served on the boards of the Education Committee for the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations and of the National Women’s Political Caucus, among others.
Susan Chenard is an English professor at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Con- necticut, and a freelance writer.
Series: Arab American Writing
6 x 9, 208 pages, 15 black and white illustrations