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East of the sun : a memoir
Ismail, Noha Shaath
Adult Nonfiction E184.E38 I84 2011

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Summary: A coming-of-age tale, family saga, and nostalgic view of the fifties and sixties, Noha Shaath Ismail's poignant memoirs describe her formative years in Alexandria, Egypt, and elsewhere, in prose that is effective and evocative. Read about Ismail's Palestinian father, Lebanese mother, Egyptian husband, and American sons, and be touched by a complex multitude of emotions - tenderness, pride, love, sadness and yearning. Here is an immigrant's tale with stories about friendships, Muslim traditions, courting habits, and a way of life that has since disappeared. Here are also the recollections of a world traveler spurred by View-Master images her father shared with her after overseas trips, who "like Sindbad... longed for a taste of adventure" and the freedom to begin her own journey of discovery. Not least, here is the world view of a strong-minded woman of the world, whose home is Palestine, Egypt, Minnesota, Florida, everywhere, and whose personal story about loss, grace, and memory can inform our own International in scope, universal in outlook, her personal journey is set against the backdrop of political and social upheaval. She writes about the loss of her homeland, the 1952 Egyptian revolution, and the tumultuous 1960s in Philadelphia with lots of insightful reminiscences about her family and her rapidly changing world. This warm book is a gift not just to the author's grandchildren as intended, but to all who care about family, history, and justice, and who believe in fostering possibility and creativity in a world beset by violence.

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