The Complete Persepolis

Current stop: Iran. When we’re afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us. Besides, fear has always been the driving force behind all dictators’ repression. This graphic novel has been on my to-read list for years, so this reading challenge was the perfect motivation for me to pick it up…

Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet

Current stop: Syria Damascus became like a humble dove that fold its wings over a fracture and remains silent in steadfast defiance. Damascus, a smile of sorrow, harboring tragedy. The secret of your eternal survival, dear Damascus, is that silence in the face of disaster. You have suffered so much. Through raids and plunder, you…

Salt Houses

Current stop: Kuwait Alyan’s debut novel explores a Palestinian family caught between present and past, between displacement and home.–halaalyan.com Home can be a tricky thing to place. Is it where you were born? Where you grew up? Where you currently live? Or is it more difficult to pin down? As the above quote suggests, this…

The Girl Who Fell to Earth

Current stop: Qatar.  Having a second world to belong to immediately made me cast doubt on my place in the first. I was really eager to read this book right away, and that is because of my utter lack of knowledge regarding Qatar.  Additionally, the author, Sophia Al-Maria was actually born in Washington state, as…

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

First stop around the world: Yemen. I didn’t want to leave my family. I didn’t feel prepared. I already missed school painfully. Catching sight of my little sister, Haifa’s sad face during the celebration, I realized with a pang that I would miss her as well. I felt a sudden rush of fear: What if…

Around the World in 80 Books

In 2017 I decided to set a reading challenge for myself to read 52 books, at least half by women authors and at least half by non-US or non-white authors. I realized the majority of books I read in 2016 were by authors who were white, male, and from the US. To be honest, I…