Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir

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9780892551507: Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir

A new edition of the widely acclaimed account of the civilian experience of fifteen years of war in Beirut- "a profound, heartbreaking book" (Los Angeles Times Book Review), "an impassioned cry against indifference" (New York Times Book Review), "a work ringing with truth and insight" (Arab Book World)-now with an Afterword about the postwar years. A New York Times Book Review Notable Book An intensely personal yet timelessly crafted portrait of life in a worn-torn city, Beirut Fragments spans the years of the civil war in Lebanon, 1975-1990. When thousands fled, Jean Said Makdisi chose to stay. She raised three sons, taught English and Humanities at Beirut University College-and she wrote. She records the breakdown of society and the physical destruction of Beirut, the massacres of Sabra and Shatila, the Israeli Invasion, everyday acts of terrorism, the struggle to maintain ordinary routines amid chaos, and the incredible spirit of a people. A Palestinian, a Christian, a woman who has lived in Jerusalem, Cairo, the United States, and Beirut, Jean Said Makdisi uses the migrations of her own life as a paradigm which helps elucidate many of the conflicts in the region. The new afterword covers the postwars years, from the last ceasefire to the present day.

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About the Author:

Jean Said Makdisi was born in Jerusalem and studied in Cairo and the United States. She is the author of Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir, a New York Times Notable Book. She lives in Beirut.

Review:

How does someone understand a war that has been waged in one's hometown for fifteen years? In this moving and troubling memoir about life in war-torn Beirut, Jean Said Makdisi tries to answer this question for both herself and her readers. Her background gives her a unique perspective: a Christian born in Jerusalem, she went to English schools in Cairo, then attended college in the United States, where she lived for fifteen years before moving to Beirut in 1972 with her Lebanese husband and three young sons. The descriptions of her life before moving to Beirut are insightful and set the framework for the rest of the book. While she defines herself as a member of the "privileged class," she makes it clear that war affects each person, that having no electricity or running water or food means none for everyone. Through the long years of war, Lebanese citizens, including Jean Makdisi "have looked evil in the face... we have asked ourselves the questions that most people are spared." Her answers, at times, surprise her as she comes to realize that "One either suffered from [the continued violence], or allowed it, there was no middle ground." Amidst daily atrocities and continual false hopes of cease fires, Jean Makdisi finds, in the face of war, strength and true hope with her fellow humans in a community of diverse religions and ideologies. -- For great reviews of books for girls, check out Let's Hear It for the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. -- From 500 Great Books by Women; review by Holly Smith

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Makdisi, Jean Said
Published by Persea Books (1990)
ISBN 10: 089255150X ISBN 13: 9780892551507
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Makdisi, Jean Said
Published by Persea Books
ISBN 10: 089255150X ISBN 13: 9780892551507
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