Synopses & Reviews
In this "beautifully written memoir" (), Jean Said Makdisi illuminates a century of Arab life and history through the stories of her mother, Hilda Musa Said, and her Teta, "Granny" Munira Badr Musa. Against the backdrop of the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the rise of Arab nationalism, the founding of Israel, the Suez crisis, the Arab-Israeli wars, and civil war in Beirut, she reveals the extraordinary courage of these ordinary women, while rethinking the notions of "traditional" and "modern," "East" and "West." With a loving eye, acute intelligence, and elegant, impassioned prose, Makdisi has written "much more than a memoir," rather "an embrace of history and culture" ().
Using unpublished family documents, the remembrances of friends and acquaintances, and histories of the region and period, Makdisi traces her family's personal story against the backdrop of political events as they take place in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and the United States.
Rich in warmth and insight, a personal and cultural history of three generations of Arab women.
About the Author
Jean Said Makdisi was born in Jerusalem and studied in Cairo and the United States. She is the author of Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir, a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Beirut.