Princeton, New Jersey – College professor and author Suzy Ismail discusses what it’s like to be a Muslim at work in her nonfiction book, Nine to Five: Muslims in the Western Workplace (ISBN 978-1590080695). Comprised of actual and dramatized first-person narrative accounts, Nine to Five explores the cultural challenges faced by Muslim employees working in the Western world. Through narratives and commentary, the author sets out to dispel myths, break down stereotypes, and illustrate that being “different” at work is not necessarily “wrong.” By sharing their experiences, the Muslim contributors articulate some of the internal and external struggles they face as workers in today’s global economy. Their stories illustrate the cultural influences that characterize their relationships with employers, coworkers, and family members, and provide a platform for understanding the differences and commonalities that exist between the rules of Islam and the Western workplace.
Specific topics covered in Nine to Five include gender disparity, personal space issues, dietary restrictions and fasting, company dress, authority and understanding of roles, ablution and prayers, and linguistic barriers. Nine to Five explores Muslim workers’ motivations, cultural inclinations, and reactions to various work situations, along with the misperceptions faced by many Muslim employees.
“I wanted to write a book that provided a clear picture of what it is like to be a Muslim in the workplace,” said Ismail. “Muslims face issues that employers and colleagues may not know about or understand. This book helps explain why Muslims behave the way they do and demonstrates how, despite differences in culture, Muslim workers are an important part of the global workforce. I believe that opening dialogues about this largely misunderstood community can only lead to greater organizational harmony and productivity.”
Suzy Ismail is a Visiting Professor of communications at DeVry University in North Brunswick and DeVry University Online. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, a Master of Arts degree in Communication and Information Studies, and was a Ph.D. student in the School of Communication at Rutgers University. She has been an active member of the Noor Ul-Iman School Board of Directors for over six years. Ismail is the author of When Muslim Marriage Fails: Divorce Chronicles and Commentary, and the middle-grade novel, The BFF Sisters: Jennah’s New Friends. She resides in Princeton, New Jersey, with her husband and three children.
For more information on the author or Nine to Five, please visit: www.suzyismail.webs.com.
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