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.


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!