Ahlan wa sahlan!
Thank you for joining in with me in the Year of the Middle Eastern Reading Challenge (YMERC)!
As promised, I will begin each month with:
- A book or two by a Middle Eastern author
- A graphic novel by a Middle Eastern author and/or Middle Eastern illustrator
- A new Arabic song to listen to throughout the month
At the end of each month, I’ll post:
- My reviews on the books and graphic novels of the month
- A Middle Eastern movie or TV show that I enjoyed that month
To recap this month:
- The book of the month was A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. This debut novel by an Arab-American voice, takes us inside the lives of conservative Arab women living in America. Read my review here.
- The graphic novel of the month was The Arab of the Future: A Childhood in the Middle East, 1978-1984: A Graphic Memoir #1 by Riad Sattouf. Riad, delicate and wide-eyed, follows in the trail of his mismatched parents; his mother, a bookish French student, is as modest as his father is flamboyant. Venturing first to the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab State and then joining the family tribe in Homs, Syria, they hold fast to the vision of the paradise that always lies just around the corner. Read my review here!
- This month’s Arabic song was Nicolas ChalhoubAssi el Helani’s Aa Lala
The Arabic show of this month is: The Secret of the Nile.
I absolutely loved watching The Secret of the Nile on Netflix. A wonderful drama, the story follows Ali who goes to the fancy hotel in Aswan, Egypt, searching for his lost sister who was a maid there. The hotel’s rich family also lives in the hotel, and Ali soon falls in love with one of the daughters, who is engaged to the hotel’s manager. Part drama, part mystery, the story follows Ali and all the characters as they each suffer in turn.
The show is the Arabic version of the Spanish drama The Grand Hotel, which follows the same storyline.
If you love Downton Abbey, this show will serve your love for historical settings, opulence, wealthy families, and secrets. As NIDA CHOWDHRY stated,
The acting is so rich and complex, the cinematography is riveting, the sets are stunning, and the wardrobe and hair/makeup are fire. But the reason I literally watched 1,350 minutes of TV in three days is because of the drama. Oh the drama! Egyptians. Know. Drama.
The show continues on for 39 episodes, but it’s all worth it. The ending has a slight twist, but no matter what you think of it, the story and the plot are great and the acting superb.
The Netflix stream is in Egyptian Arabic. But for those of you who don’t understand Arabic, the Netflix stream has English and Spanish subtitles.
Don’t forget to spread the word on WordPress, Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #YMERC2020.
*The beautiful blog graphic is done by liv_does.