Sunday, May 14, 2006

Suad Amiry


Last night, the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi hosted Dr. Suad Amiry, the author of Sharon and my mother-in-law: Ramallah diaries, an autobiographical account of her life in Ramallah.

This is not a political novel. In fact, the novel itself started out as e-mails Suad used to send to her friends across the world, to tell them about her life in Ramallah, the struggles she has to go through on a daily basis, the curfews, the roadblocks, the ID's, the challenge of living with her mother-in-law, and the trials and tribulations of her tiny dog Nura.

Some of Suad's friends then suggested she publish these e-mails, and the rest, as they say, is history. Witty and sad, entertaining and maddening, this book is a must-read.

I actually came across the book a couple of years ago on one of my many trips back to Montreal. I was in the Abu Dhabi airport duty-free looking for something to keep me entertained on the long flight ahead, and bought this book, without having heard about the author or the book before. I couldn't put it down and I had finished the book by the time I landed in Montreal. So when I heard that Dr. Amiry was coming to Abu Dhabi, I made it a point to attend the conference (and to get my book signed by her!).

Dr. Amiry is actually an architect by profession, and is the director of Riwaq, a non-profit organisation whose aim is to protect architectural heritage in Palestine.

A great cause and a great book. Check them both out.

3 comments:

Mar said...

Sounds interesting.

bandicoot said...

It’s on my list of books to read this summer. Another interesting and relevant book is Raja Shehadeh’s When the Bird Stopped Singing: Life in Ramallah Under Siege(also published under the title, When the Bulbul Stopped Singing: A Diary of Ramallah Under Siege). The following is extracted from the publisher’s review:

“ In April 2002, the Israeli army reoccupied Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority has its headquarters...Israeli soldiers seized...[Raja’s] brother‛s home and used him as a human shield during a search...When the Birds Stopped Singing reveals the rage and terror of daily life in these dire circumstances…”

Dubai Sunshine said...

Thanks Bandicoot. I'll definitely check that book out!