Hafiza Sarwat Fatima ,
Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa 
The American Dream is associated with the promise of equality, opportunity, success, and achievement through hard work and perseverance. It promises free practice of religious, social, and cultural values of different ethnic and racial groups to “construct a new race, a new religion, a new state, a new literature” (Emerson, 1909, p. 116). Hypnotized by these values of the American Dream, immigrants from all corners of the world pour into America to achieve these ideals of happiness and prosperity. However, despite being hailed as the panacea for all, the mythical nature of the American Dream has come to be vigorously debated over the last hundred years. Indeed, the political and economic crises at the turn of the twenty-first century have further exposed the fault lines of the American Dream (Archer, 2014). While literary critiques of the materialistic nature of the Dream can be traced back to classics such as F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby (1925), Laila Halaby’s Once in a Promised Land (2007) is a contemporary exploration of the meaning of “Americanness” from the perspective of an Arab American couple in the aftermath of 9/11. Through a critical analysis of the representation of Americanness in the novel, the paper argues that the already elusive nature of the American Dream becomes further complicated in an America unsettled by 9/11; as such, rather than reinforcing their American identity, for Arab Americans, the notion of Americanness becomes a source of disillusionment and alienation.