Understanding The Middle East group meets on the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. It has the purpose of exploring the rich culture of the Middle East through literature (poetry, fiction, memoirs). They do include readings of non-fiction as they try to gain an understanding of history and current events. Although they read writers from the west, the goal is to discover the many talented authors from middle eastern countries who may not be well known in the U.S. Even though discussions of politics cannot always be avoided, this is not the focus.
For more information, contact Tina Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org. New members are always welcome.
February 19 - Badawi by Mohed Altrad
March 19 – Excellent Daughters by Katherine Zoepf
April 16 – Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
May 21 – Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk (May and June)
June 18 – Pity the Nation by Robert Fisk (May & June)
July 16 – Orhan's Inheritance by Aline Ohanesian
Published to wide critical acclaim in France, Badawi is Mohed Altrad's heartrending debut novel, inspired by the author's own narrative arc from Bedouin orphan to engineer and finally billionaire businessman.
For more than a decade, Katherine Zoepf has lived in or traveled throughout the Arab world, reporting on the lives of women, whose role in the region has never been more in flux. Only a generation ago, female adolescence as we know it in the West did not exist in the Middle East. There were only children and married women.
NAMED ONE OF THE 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, PEOPLE, AND ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLYNAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY TIME, GQ, O THE OPRAH MAGAZINE, AND LA TIMES FINALIST FOR THE 2017 MAN BOOKER PRIZE FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARDS
With the Israeli-Palestinian crisis reaching wartime levels, where is the latest confrontation between these two old foes leading? Robert Fisk's explosive Pity the Nation recounts Sharon and Arafat's first deadly encounter in Lebanon in the early 1980s and explains why the Israel-Palestine relationship seems so intractable.
When Orhan's brilliant and eccentric grandfather, Kemal Turkoglu, who built a dynasty out of making "kilim" rugs, is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But Kemal has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in a retirement home in Los Angeles.