Destination: Middle East Book: Nine Parts of Desire: The Hidden World of Islamic Women by Geraldine Brooks
“Almighty God created sexual desire in ten parts, then he gave nine parts to women and one to men.” –Ali ibn Abu Taleb, husband of Muhammad’s daughtger Fatima and founder of the Shite sect of Islam.
The Frontispiece of Nine Parts of Desire Continue reading
Book: I Have Iraq in My Shoe: A Memoir, by Gretchen Berg
“In life, it is important to find where you fit in, where you feel comfortable. I was not at home in Iraq.” Gretchen Berg, in I Have Iraq in My Shoe Continue reading
Lebanese Kibbeh Nayeh, raw ground meat
Destinations: Baghdad and Beirut
Book: Day of Honey:A Memoir of Food, Love and War (Org. Feb. 2011, New in paperback 2012) by Annia Ciezadlo
“Day of honey, Day of onions.” Arab proverb.
Other books dissect the causes and results of war in the Middle East. Day of Honey: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War focuses on something more basic–the everyday life of people caught in a war zone and the way that food becomes a survival tool in more ways than simply nutrition.
Most civilians experience war not as the fighters and victims that parade across television screens, but as tired housewives peeling potatoes and wondering, all the while, at the stupidity of it. Being trapped in the house with Umm Hassane [in Beirut with her Lebanese mother-in-law] forced me to experience the awful, humiliating tedium of war without the anesthetic of danger or the narcotic self-importance of risk–to go through it not as a witness, not as a journalist, but as a human being.