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3 incredible books to discover Lebanon, one of the most fascinating and particular countries in the world
Small but necessary premise
This is not a ranking but a suggestion for those approaching these countries and areas of the world for the first time and is also linked to the personal taste of the author. Putting only 3 works (thus risking to leave out entire countries) was a very specific choice due to something that is often forgotten: books are not free. Our intent is to provide beginners and experts with 3 truly “indispensable” titles, which can thus allow them to enjoy a good text and / or discover something new, allowing them to only make “good” shopping.
Do you have different “must-sees”? We are very curious to know them, soon we will start 30 minutes / 1 hour direct starting from these lists; stay connected to receive news. We leave you to the list, good reads.
“Being Arab” by Samir Kassir
«This book-manifesto carries within itself the strength of a testament and the visionary strength of a beginning. In the dramatic amalgamation between individual end and collective beginning, Samir Kassir condenses his path towards a new Arab Renaissance, which defends modernity and re-reads contemporary Arab culture with a renewed critical spirit. The will, which redraws the image of the intellectual, defining it as a conscience free from all constraints other than the commitment to freedom and the defense of truth as well as the intellectual represents it. It is the beginning, which has coined great models that ask us to be surpassed and perfected, because they must be brought to maturity by a historical-cultural work that goes to work to break the circle of Arab unhappiness. This is why the reader feels he is facing a cry calling for freedom and democracy. It is launched by a journalist who lives events. To make it take shape is a historian who processes the memory. And in this merger the uniqueness of Samir Kassir is affirmed “.Elias Khoury
An illuminating book, able to lead the reader to profound reflections and 360 ° reasoning on the Arab world and on the figure of the “intellectual”. Kassir’s text, in particular, tries to solve a great dilemma of this century: “Arab unhappiness”. Since colonialism, in fact, the Arab world has always been subjected to other foreign powers, gradually losing its self-confidence and taking refuge in follies. The great intellectual will in fact find himself criticizing both the pedestrial copying of a distant past and wanting to resemble the European world at all costs. Instead, it is necessary to look at the past, but seeking its spirit and values, the only real driving force for lost greatness.
“Origins: A Memoir” by Amin Maalouf
After the disappearance of his father in Lebanon, Maalouf receives in Paris a chest full of family documents that date back to his paternal great-grandparents. An opportunity to return with the memory and with the available data to the complex history of the generations that preceded it. Between peasants rooted in the original wisdom of the earth, fundamentalist preachers, patriots fighting against the Ottoman Empire, men and women committed to surviving but also to fulfill their desires of emancipation from the prejudices of a rigidly traditional culture, a great family saga is composed .
A great novel capable of making you travel to the Lebanese end of the 19th century, a period often forgotten but which laid the foundations for today’s country. In this text, in fact, Maalouf will make a real journey to discover his ancestors, moving both in Lebanon and in those of the new world. Not surprisingly, one of the most interesting elements of the whole work is precisely the migration to the Americas, a place where Arab communities thrived and merged more than ever with the
“Beirut 75” by Ghada Samman
In a collective taxi taken in Damascus, the adventures of a group of occasional travel companions begin arriving in Beirut where the signs of the civil war are now clear. In the sea of daily worries, a man and a woman roam the Lebanese capital, each prey to their own phobias, aspirations and frustrations too long repressed. In the sea of daily worries, a man and a woman roam the Lebanese capital, each prey to their own phobias, aspirations and frustrations that have been repressed for too long.
The book that most of all shows us what Beirut was just before the civil war. In fact, “A taxi to Beirut” came out just a few months before the outbreak of the conflict, perfectly showing the atmosphere that reigned in the city, now more similar to Sodom. In fact, in the text we will be shown a city extremely corrupt and fascinated by sex, in which the values of those who enter it seem to sink step by step. An unmissable work for any lover of Lebanon and this city
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