Levy's Reviews > Zaatar Days, Henna Nights: Adventures, Dreams, and Destinations Across the Middle East

Zaatar Days, Henna Nights by Maliha Masood
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's review
Aug 04, 2012

liked it
Read from February 01 to August 04, 2012 , read count: 1

This is a very nice book about the joy of traveling and self-discovery. It is highly recommended to teenagers but also to adults especially Westerners who have problems understanding the Middle East and themselves. There is an obvious tendency in the Western lifestyle to ignore the inner reality while people are busy with the everyday routine of the outer reality which later makes them slaves of a life without consistency.

Maliha Masood have had a rare opportunity to visit the Muslim world before 9/11 - her too being a Muslim - and her writing skills are impeccable. But I didn't like her persona too much maybe because she looked like trying to take advantage of some of her hosts (she might not realize it but she did do that in fact). The last part of her book about Turkey proves my point and besides, it feels like it was written on a hurry to meet the deadline. Maliha doesn't mention anywhere how much time it took to write her book but my guess is it must have been a few years because her journey ended in 2001 and the book hit the shelves in 2006. With so much time at hand she shouldn't have rushed the ending...

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Reading Progress

02/14/2012 page 75
02/21/2012 page 180
56.0% ""In the minds of most Americans, the name Hezbollah conjures images of burly Islamic thugs conducting guerrilla warfare. But I learned that Hezbollah was also responsible for building many schools, hospitals, and clinics neglected by the Lebanese government.""
08/01/2012 page 217
68.0% ""We tend to look outside for answers that are inside of us. My journey was precisely such a case. I had thought that the stimulation of foreign places would disentangle me from a life at home that I had found boring and joyless. There had been so much hunger inside me to escape. And now that I had done that for nearly a year and a half, I was coming right back to where I started, to little old me.""
08/01/2012 page 218
68.0% ""Tapping into these internal answers requires external knowledge. Perhaps that’s why a journey can be so transformative, because it gives you a type of self-monitored x-ray vision and the rate at which you mature and grow during fifteen months on the road is much faster than fifteen months at home.""

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