• Go Back to Where You Came From

  • And Other Helpful Recommendations on How to Become an American
  • By: Wajahat Ali
  • Narrated by: Wajahat Ali
  • Length: 8 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.8 out of 5 stars (206 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

“Go back to where you came from, you terrorist!” 

This is just one of the many warm, lovely, and helpful tips that Wajahat Ali and other children of immigrants receive on a daily basis. Go back where, exactly? Fremont, California, where he grew up but is now an unaffordable place to live? Or Pakistan, the country his parents left behind a half-century ago? 

Growing up living the suburban American dream, young Wajahat devoured comic books (devoid of Brown superheroes) and fielded well-intentioned advice from uncles and aunties. (“Become a doctor!”) He had turmeric stains under his fingernails, was accident-prone, suffered from OCD, and wore husky pants, but he was as American as his neighbors, with roots all over the world. Then, while Ali was studying at University of California, Berkeley, 9/11 happened. Muslims replaced communists as America’s enemy number one, and he became an accidental spokesman and ambassador of all ordinary, unthreatening things Muslim-y. 

Now a middle-aged dad, Ali has become one of the foremost and funniest public intellectuals in America. In Go Back to Where You Came From, he tackles the dangers of Islamophobia, white supremacy, and chocolate hummus, peppering personal stories with astute insights into national security, immigration, and pop culture. In this refreshingly bold, hopeful, and uproarious memoir, Ali offers indispensable lessons for cultivating a more compassionate, inclusive, and delicious America.

©2022 Wajahat Ali (P)2022 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Go Back to Where You Came From

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Must read (or in this case, listen)!!

Finally! Someone who reads well and keeps you engrossed and entertained! Ali is the perfect narrator. His storytelling touches on the terrible things that immigrants in the US (like my husband) hear every single day, with humor and quick wit. And, that is just in the forward!! Everyone in America should read/listen to his book!

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Captured with remarkable detail...

An impressive re-telling of Waj's journey growing up and living in 'Amurica - touching and funny story. Fareed Zakaria line made me spit out my coconut water

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Fantastic!

It's heartbreaking and inspiring with lots of laughs. Wajahat does a great job reading his book by adding some additional flavor to the stories being told

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The book we should be reading right now

Excellent. I wasn't sure where the book was going to go. Som laughs, but some truths I have seen and experienced myself. His story is unique, but relatable in so many ways as I am also a brown American. Another American story that should be read to appreciate our similarities but also embrace our differences. I hope you take the time to listen to it.

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Enjoyed it

It was an enlightening story. Candid and honest. The author's sense of humor is contagious.

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Don’t Not listen to this!

I laughed and cried through this one. An amazing story and so on point. Total fan of the writer now!

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Wajahat Ali Go Back to Where You Came From

He tells a great, entertaining story that makes you think about our injustices and opportunities.

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Brilliant!!

Definitely would recommend! Wajahat has an incredible story it is a must listen and his narration was superb!

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This book and There is Nothing for You Here are two of the best books are the best I have read/listened to in a long time.

Wajahat Ali is brilliant and incredibly funny. The reason for also naming “There is Nothing for You Here” by Fiona Hill is that they both paint similar pictures of their lives and their attempts at assimilation despite their very different backgrounds. I also need to thank Allison Gill of Mueller She Wrote and the Daily Beans podcast. She brought this book to my attention.

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Required Listening for all Americans

Just listen! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll wish you had heard of Wajahat Ali sooner.