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4.02  ·  Rating details ·  403 ratings  ·  53 reviews
Baddawi is the story of a young boy named Ahmad struggling to find his place in the world. Raised in a refugee camp called Baddawi in northern Lebanon, Ahmad is just one of the thousands of Palestinians who fled their homeland after the war in 1948 established the state of Israel.

In this visually arresting graphic novel, Leila Abdelrazaq explores her father’s childhood in
Paperback, 128 pages
Published April 7th 2015 by Just World Books
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Average rating 4.02  · 
Rating details
 ·  403 ratings  ·  53 reviews

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Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: palestine
Persepolis meets Maus. Just beautiful. I only wish it were longer! (Hopefully there are more to come?!)
Manar Fleifel
Aug 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"Palestine is buried deep in the creases of my grandmother's palms."

Equally sweet and sad, Leila Abdelrazaq's Baddawi is the lightest book I've come across to explain the struggle of the Palestinian people and their lives in exile and diaspora, their remembrance of Palestine and their reflections of their diasporic states of being. This book brought tears to my eyes and cleansed them with smiles sometimes.. Beautiful !
Alyssa Chrisman
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Updated my rating to four stars after discussing this book in class.

This is a graphic novel that tells the story of the author’s father’s childhood and adolescence growing up as a Palestinian in a refugee camp in Lebanon. While parts of it seem disjointed, and I wish I knew more about the conflict and war so I had a better understanding of the book, the illustrations are wonderful— while they may look simple, they are full of symbolism and deeper meanings.
Rawa S.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, palestine
Leila Abdelrazaq illustrates the story of her Palestinian father's upbringing in Baddawi - a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon - in a way that captures the reader from the very first page. I read it all in one sitting, and was upset when I reached the last page. I hope there's more to come. ...more
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Baddawi is a beautifully written, wonderfully illustrated coming-of-age graphic novel that is really about the Palestinian struggle. I cannot recommend it enough; a really touching read.
Becki Iverson
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Palestine was the next stop in my Around the World book club and this was the perfect choice. After some dry, difficult books it was nice to have a graphic novel to enjoy, and this one manages to pack so much substance into a short amount of space. Telling the story of the conflict in Palestine through the eyes of a child, Baddawi really hits home how much the Palestinian people have suffered over the last 80 years. To be stateless, without a passport or country recognized by other nations, is q ...more
Jun 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This 8.5 x 8.5 middle school graphic novel biography tells a powerful story of a young boy coming of age and striving to find his place in the chaos of the Nakba and its aftermath.  Over 128 pages the reader will learn and be outraged about the displacement and genocide of so many Palestinians as they see the events through Ahmad's eyes and relate to his dreams and experiences despite the terror around him. The book has violence, destruction, death and mentions rape, yet the humanity shines thro ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Baddawi is so much more than the story of her father's childhood. It's the story of my dad's childhood. It's the story of every Palestinian kid was born in a refugee camp post-Nakba. I loved it. ...more

('Haaretz', Nov. 26, 2015)

"Baddawi," by Leila Abdelrazaq, Just World Books, 128 pp., $20

"The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984," by Riad Sattouf, Metropolitan Books, 160 pp., $26

How much faith can one place in another’s account of the past? No writer can be an entirely objective observer, of course; some, however, have the skill to turn their subjective lens into a positive attribute. The American writer and essayist Lynne Tillmans puts it like this: “Like histories,
Sondos Shehadeh
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
the book very short, yet powerful. The main character, storyline and narration style is very gripping. I really liked the main character and the constant reminder that this character is what Hanthala stands for from the point of view of children within the Palestinian refugee communities. The ending of the book, however, was not as satisfying as I hoped for.
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
An important read about life as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon

I just wish the ending was a bit stronger. It felt rushed.
Tye Emert
Jan 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: historical-comic
I wanted to like this book. I enjoyed the author's family story and artwork but couldn't get swept up in it.

I did learn a few things. Like how the Irguns were enthic cleansing in Israel and how Leila Abdelrazaq feels the injustice that this group got absorbed into the Israeli defense force. Which I agree that just because your people have been persecuted for hundreds of years and survived genocide itself does not give you the right to do the same but this applies to all people.

But the one thing
Apr 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
There is a lot to love about this graphic novel: the story is well told, the illustrations are simple and engaging, the tatreez design running throughout the book is beautiful. I especially enjoyed reading this book because I have spent quite a bit of time in Baddawi refugee camp and felt that Abdelrazaq brought so much to life. My only negative thoughts related to the book are those that make me wonder how much people who don't know Palestinian and Lebanese history will be able to follow that c ...more
Jan 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
It's not that I disliked this book, but I thought the narrative needed more thought and development. It was extremely expository, which makes it valuable in explaining the basics of Palestinian circumstances and history, but as a reader I didn't feel transported. I wasn't hanging on, wondering "What's going to happen? How could that happen?" The drawings are great, especially the bigger ones combining lots of graphic elements. Maybe I'll come back to this one and see if I can find the energy I d ...more
Megan Geissler
Apr 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Another telling of the Palestinian experience, this time chronicling the author's father's childhood as a stateless refugee in a Lebanese camp. The illustrations are really well-crafted and convey the sentiments of futility and powerlessness that the protagonist experiences. Traditional Palestinian embroidery patterns weave across the pages, helping to keep the refugee camp story connected to Palestine. Glossary covers foreign language terminology. ...more
Sarah Sammis
Baddawi by Leila Abdelrazaq is a graphic novel about the author's father's childhood in Lebanon as a refugee from Palestine. It's rendered in black and white in a style similar to Marjane Satrapi's.
Ahmed Masoud
Dec 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brilliant coming of age story. It takes the reader to the heart of the Palestinian refugee dilemma and offers hope and resilience while telling the story of Palestine. Definitely recommended.
Robert Boyd
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, politics
This is the story of Leila Abdelrazaq's father Ahmad, who was born and raised in a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon called Baddawi. It mainly deals with his boyhood in a world where political events are unfolding around him continuously. He lives part of the time in Baddawi and part of the time in Beirut, where his father ends up working. The book before his birth with the Nakba, or the catastrophe as Palestinians refer to their expulsion from Palestine by the Israelis. Ahmad's family is one ...more
Andrea Arango
May 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
"When Israel began ethnically cleansing Palestine in 1947, it was believed that the Palestine people would disappear with time, that we would be absorbed into other nations, that our stories would be lost, that the old would die and the young would forget. This book is a testament to the fact that we have not forgotten."

BADDAWI is a graphic novel memoir that works for both upper middle grade and YA audiences. (And is also perfect for adults, so don't shy away.) In it, Leila Abdelrazaq shares the
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
This graphic novel was a very quick read that depicts one Palestinian-American family's immigration story in a highly readable format. I thought some parts could have been better developed, but on the other hand the book's brevity will make it more easily and widely accessible. I think it's really important to read immigration stories; each one is different and gives a glimpse into struggles that many other Americans can only imagine. In this case, picture growing up in a refugee camp, studying ...more
Read Harder 2018 task: Read a comic that isn't published by Marvel, DC, or Image.

The artwork is great and I loved all of the traditional embroidery patterns worked into and around the panels. I also liked that the stories told in the book, while simple, still show how life was constricted by the family's status as Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. And I'm impressed that Abdelrazaq came up with this idea and executed it while attending college.

However, I took off two stars because the manner in w
Edward Sullivan
Abdelrazaq explores her father’s childhood struggling to find his place in the world as he is raised in a refugee camp called Baddawi in northern Lebanon. Ahmad' story is just one of the many thousands of Palestinians who fled their homeland after the war in 1948 established the state of Israel. Reading this after the recent horrific events in Gaza makes it all the more poignant.

Mar 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I love learning about other cultures and this was a great way to see something of the experience of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. I particularly liked the part about how hard it was to get a visa to the US.
This is a touching story about Palestinians seen through the eyes of a Palestinian refugee growing up in Lebanese camps. Although sometimes it appears simplistic about the Lebanese civil war, it remains a book worth reading about Palestinian refugees children.
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful and informative little book. It does a great job of situating you in a child's perspective, telling stories that blend the authentic with the universal: tales of bird hunting, gambling with marbles, and the Lebanese Civil War. Would recommend. ...more
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This ended too fast. So many unanswered questions.
Oct 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this one, and learned a lot about the some of the history of Palestinian people. the author's story connected to my heart. l loved the art as well. ...more
May 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics, non-fiction
A carefully constructed history, filled with so many small moments of heartbreak.
May 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Short and simple, but sweet.
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Leila is a Palestinian artist and author.

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