Ahlan wa sahlan!

Thank you for joining in with us in the Year of the Middle Eastern Reading Challenge (YMERC).

As promised, I will begin each month with:

  • A book 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


Between Beirut And The Moon by Naji Bakhti

A young boy comes of age within the confines of post-civil-war Beirut, with conflict and comedy lurking around every corner.

Adam dreams of becoming an astronaut but who has ever heard of an Arab on the moon?

He battles with his father, a book-hoarding journalist with a penchant for writing eulogies, his closest friend, Basil, a Druze who is said to worship goats and believe in reincarnation, and a host of other misfits and miscreants in a city attempting to recover from years of political and military violence.

Adam’s youth oscillates from laugh out loud escapades, to near death encounters, as he struggles to understand the turbulent and elusive city he calls home. 


Hshouma by Zainab Fasiki

Note: This book has not been translated into English yet.
Description from ArabLit.org.

Fasiki starts Hshouma off by positing that male domination began with the Muslim conquest of North Africa. The Amazigh, she writes, accorded great respect to women.

When the Arabs took control of the region, they defeated the warrior queen Dihya Tadmut, also known as Kahina. When Fasiki was asked why she had published her book in France, she said that several Moroccan publishers had initially contacted her, but that they had wanted her to make changes to her text, and one of them was to remove the paragraph about the Amazigh.

Her publisher, Éditions Massot, distributes Hshouma to Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Lebanon, and Egypt.


Shi Gharib by Julia Boutros

Julia Boutros (Arabic: جوليا بطرس‎; born April 1, 1968[1]) is a Lebanese singer known for her patriotism who rose to stardom in the 1980s with a series of songs like “Ghabet Shams El Haq” and “Wen el malaieen”. She is also the sister of Ziad Boutros and the wife of the ex-Minister of defense Elias Bou Saab.[2][3]** Reference

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.
**Source: Wikipedia

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