Author: Deborah Rodriguez
Summary: Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born. With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup. – Source (and read more): Goodreads.com
Continue reading “Kabul beauty school: An American woman goes behind the veil”
Author: Pamela J. Olson
Summary:Fast Times in Palestine is Olson’s powerful, deeply moving account of life in Palestine—both the daily events that are universal to us all (house parties, concerts, barbecues, and weddings) as well as the violence, trauma, and political tensions that are particular to the country. From idyllic olive groves to Palestinian beer gardens, from Passover in Tel Aviv to Ramadan in a Hamas village, readers will find Olson’s narrative both suspenseful and discerning. Her irresistible story offers a multi-faceted understanding of the Palestinian perspective on the Israel–Palestine conflict, filling a gap in the West’s understanding of the difficult relationship between the two nations. At turns funny, shocking, and galvanizing, Fast Times in Palestine is a gripping narrative that challenges our ways of thinking—not only about the Middle East, but about human nature, cultural identity, and our place in the world. At turns funny, shocking, and galvanizing, Fast Times in Palestine is a gripping narrative that challenges our ways of thinking—not only about the Middle East, but about human nature, cultural identity, and our place in the world — Source: amazon.com
Continue reading “Fast times in Palestine: a love affair with a homeless homeland”
Author: Dina Matar
Summary: What It Means to be Palestinian is a narrative of narratives, a collection of personal stories, remembered feelings and reconstructed experiences by different Palestinians whose lives were changed and shaped by history. Their stories are told chronologically through particular phases of the Palestinian national struggle, providing a composite autobiography of Palestine as a landscape and as a people. The book begins with the 1936 revolt against British rule in Palestine and ends in 1993, with the Oslo peace agreement that changed the nature and form of the national struggle. It is based on in-depth interviews and conversations with Palestinians, male and female, old and young, rich and poor, religious and secular, in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and the Occupied Territories. Presented as remembered personal narratives and as “social” histories, these conversations provide a deep and intimate account of what it means to be Palestinian in the 21st century.
Continue reading “What It means to be Palestinian: stories of Palestinian peoplehood”
Author: Ilan Pappe
Summary: This is an absolute must if you want to understand the plan behind the creation of Israel, and what really Israel is based on. Ilan Pappe is an Israeli university professor in Exeter, UK, who devoted his life to document the conflict and its roots. He based this book on extensive research but mostly on inedited documents he accessed in the Israeli restricted archives before he became famous and not liked by Israeli authorities. It explains in detail how the attack on Palestinian villages and the killing of hundreds of innocent people was planned beforehand and carried out in total awareness.
Continue reading “The ethnic cleansing of Palestine”
Author: Izzeldin Abuelaish
Summary: By turns inspiring and heart-breaking, hopeful and horrifying, I Shall Not Hate is Izzeldin Abuelaish’s account of an extraordinary life. A Harvard-trained Palestinian doctor who was born and raised in the Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip and “who has devoted his life to medicine and reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians” (New York Times), Abuelaish has been crossing the lines in the sand that divide Israelis and Palestinians for most of his life – as a physician who treats patients on both sides of the line, as a humanitarian who sees the need for improved health and education for women as the way forward in the Middle East.
Continue reading “I shall not hate: a Gaza doctor’s journey on the road to peace and human dignity”
Author: Meron Benvenisti
Summary: Though at moments slightly biased, this biography of Jerusalem offers a clear and comprehensive insight on the foolishness this city was built upon. Packed with interesting details.
Continue reading “City of stone: the hidden history of Jerusalem”