The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor


  • Enjoy poetic prose
  • Want to understand more about Arabs
  • Want a unique read
  • Want a deep, yet amusing and witty book

TitleThe Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor | Author: Rana Haddad| Rating: 5/5

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.

Part prose, part poetry, all heart, The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor is an unexpectedly deep, yet amusing and sarcastic book on what it’s like growing up in Syria under Hafez al-Assad as a half-Syrian girl.

Being of Syrian heritage, I felt and understood everything Dunya was, but even if you’re not Arab, there’s much to appreciate about her story.

Dunya Noor is the only daughter of a Syrian doctor and an English mother. Dunya grows up until she is about 13 in Syria. At that point, she fails to support Hafez al-Assad, the dictator of Syria at the time, and finds herself in trouble. Her parents send her away to her English grandparents, where she eventually meets Hilal, a Syrian boy studying in England to be a “moonologist.”

Their love story intertwines with the love, though not necessarily romantic love, stories of others. What comes out of the book is a deep and complex, yet quietly beautiful, net of fate that draws in different threads and creates a tightly woven fabric.

It is a beautiful book, and if you are Arab, I think you will appreciate it that much more. But even if you are not, the book has so much lyricism and poetry, that you can’t help but find yourself falling in love with Syria through Dunya’s eyes, with all its flaws and errors.

The Unexpected Love Objects of Dunya Noor is the love story to Syria and her people, to her complex and rich history, her poignant present, and her hopeful future.

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