A heartbreaking account of a family that lived once in Beit Daras in Palestine and the events through which the remaining members of the family becameA heartbreaking account of a family that lived once in Beit Daras in Palestine and the events through which the remaining members of the family became refugees in Gaza: The story starts with Um Mahmoud, Nazmiya, Mariam and Mahmoud. It then takes us to the story of four generations, who were somwhow together at some point of time and at some place. At that point, time and place did not matter anymore. It describes events that happened during Nakba when people of Palestine were killed, tortured or expelled from their towns and cities to establish what is called the state of Israel. The story is beautifully written to the degree I didnt want to leave it. it is powerful, emotional and gets to your heart....more
An excellent account of the history of Syria since the latest days of the Ottoman Empire till the recent events which led to the recent 'war'. It is aAn excellent account of the history of Syria since the latest days of the Ottoman Empire till the recent events which led to the recent 'war'. It is an objective honest book that shows the deep knowledge of the author of the Middle East region. The links he makes to the various elements and events, and his understanding of how the interference of external powers deeply affected the societies in Syria are great. The book describes Syria under the French rule, the policies of the French during colonialism which enhanced divisions within the societies, and then Syria after independence, the different coups, Syria under the rule of Hafez Al Asad and then his son Bashar Al Asad. He describes the composition of the Syrian population, the different ethnicities and religions, the artificial borders drawn by Britain and France in the Middle East which were catastrophic in someway, the relationship between Syria and other neighbouring countries like Iraq, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon. Also, the wars in which Syria was engaged in against the newly established Zionist state. I recommend everyone interested in Syria to read this book to get an objective analysis and I recommend the author to follow this book with another one trying to understand the current war, the different interests of states, the different militia groups, etc. ...more
A story of a newly married Indian man who dreamed to work in the Gulf where life is prosperous and with lots of money. He ended up in the desert of SaA story of a newly married Indian man who dreamed to work in the Gulf where life is prosperous and with lots of money. He ended up in the desert of Saudi Arabia as a shepherd in an extremely vulnerable situation: no water, little food, lots of work, complete isolation, no salary, no communication channels and no way to escape. After few years in an unbearable situation, he managed to escape with other workers in a nearby 'masara'. The journey of escape in the desert was one of death. However, this man managed to survive, but without his friends.
Throughout the book, I felt that there was an exaggeration to what extent vulnerability can reach. I cannot imagine that it is possible to reach this limit of inhumanity. However, it seems it is based on a true story!...more
Beautifully written, moving, and heart touching novel of Elif Shafak- Honour is a story of Kurdish twins who were born in a Kurdish village somewhereBeautifully written, moving, and heart touching novel of Elif Shafak- Honour is a story of Kurdish twins who were born in a Kurdish village somewhere in Iraq. However, when they grew up, they had different futureS, one was married, moved to Istanbul and London after, and the other stayed in this Kurdish village. The story tackles many issues relatEd to the East, among is honour, immigrants to the 'developed World', generations' change over half a century, cultural barriers/differences, privileges of boys over girls in some communities in the East, and many other issues.
This is one of my favourite books that I enjoyed reading. It encouraged me to go on and read other books of Elif Shafak. Thank you Elif for giving us the opportunity to read such beautiful novels....more