All Strangers Are Kin
Adventures in Arabic and the Arab World

Daily life in the Arab world, the kind you never see in newspapers.
Odd characters, thrilling confessions, many gifts.
Why Arabic is impossibly difficult–but entirely worth the effort.

Winner of the 2017 SATW Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Book

“Zora O’Neill is a wonderful writer, a hakawati who can spin a tale with the best of them.” —Rabih Alameddine, author of The Hakawati and An Unnecessary Woman

Available now in hardback and e-book. Paperback available March 7, 2018.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (hardback)
American University in Cairo Press (paperback)
Astoria Bookshop (via IndieBound)
Powell’s: hardback; paperback
Barnes & Noble

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Publicity and press contact

Leila Meglio


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Available for lectures, interviews, Q&As

  • Contemporary culture of the Arab world
  • European refugee crisis
  • Women’s travel
  • Language study for adults

Selected reviews and media


Gillian MacKenzie

MacKenzie Wolf

More praise for All Strangers Are Kin
“At a time when politics dominates our view of the Middle East, Zora O’Neill has found a different port of entry: the language. An enthusiastic and resourceful student of Arabic, O’Neill captures both the richness of the language and the ways in which it allows an outsider to connect with common people all the way from Morocco to the Persian Gulf.” —Peter Hessler, author of Country Driving, Oracle Bones, and others

“Zora O’Neill is the perfect travel companion: smart, curious, witty and knowledgeable. In a time when the news out of the Middle East is too often grim, she finds warmth and humor. By refusing to tread along the same paths that so many news reporters are confined to, she reveals to us rich new possibilities for understanding–all in a deceptively breezy tone.” —Carla Power, author of National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize Finalist If the Oceans Were Ink

“O’Neill masterfully weaves together vignettes, linguistic musings, and a colorful cast of thousands into an always-thoughtful, often hysterically funny paean to a part of the world about which most Americans remain woefully ignorant.” —Suketu Mehta, author of Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found

“Wry, witty, and charmingly erudite, this lovely book goes through the looking glass of the Arabic language and emerges with a radiant image of the Arab world.” —Diana Abu-Jaber, author of Life Without a Recipe, Crescent, The Language of Baklava, and others

“You will travel through countries and across centuries, meeting professors and poets, revolutionaries, nomads, and nerds. O’Neill’s generous storytelling makes the intricacies of Arabic grammar seem fascinating and inexplicably glamorous. And the most unforgettable character you encounter may be the Arabic language itself, which will feel like an old friend by the time you finish this warm and hilarious book.” —Annia Ciezadlo, author of Day of Honey

Read an excerpt