For all of their obvious differences: gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, culture, religions, and motivations--all of the borders and boundaries between them--what is most interesting to me about Julie and Ibrahim are their similarities. They appear to be two halves of a single whole that offer two perspectives of the same thing.
Look at the parallels: They are both in their late 20s; they both have college educations that they have not put to full use (for very different reasons); they both have strained or difficult relationships with their parents; and they both have generous uncles who offer them help and support. Neither of them practice their formal religion, and both have rejected their roles in their traditional families. They have both chosen to leave their homelands and familiar societies. It is a matter of belonging.
As Ibrahim says of Julie: "Like me, like me, she won't go back where she belongs...She looks for somewhere else." (p.262) Both of them are just trying to find a place, a situation, a home where they fit in. A place where they belong.
It is the quest in the heart of all individuals, the search for self. It is the hope of a new beginning that is the essence of all migrations--"immigration as a human solution." (p.48) It is "the great adventure, the achievement that is emigration, not understood but sensed." (p. 266) Do they travel together or apart?