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Two Women In One

By Nawal el-Sadawi Nawal el-Sadawi is a well-known Egyptian writer, human rights activist, physician, psychiatrist, and former political prisoner.  This novel is the story of Bahiah Shaheen, a young Egyptian medical student and daughter of a prominent Egyptian official. The book begins thus: “It was the fourth of September.  She stood with her right foot […]

Reading Lolita In Teheran

By Azar Nafisi From the cover notes:  “Every Thursday morning for two years in the Islamic Republic of Iran, a bold and inspired teacher named Azar Nafisi secretly gathered seven of her most committed female students to read forbidden Western classics.  As Islamic morality squads staged arbitrary raids in Teheran, fundamentalists seized hold of the […]

The Lemon Tree

 by Sandy Tolan   The Lemon Tree is a true story about Bashir Al-Khayri, a young Palestinian man, and Dalia Eshkenazi Landau, a young Israeli woman.  Bashir was born in his ancestral family home in Ramla, Palestine.   His family fled their home (or were driven from it, depending on your perspective) during the 1948 war when […]

The Road to Peace is Paved with Understanding

A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin The Great Game by Peter Hopkirk Like Hidden Fire by Peter Hopkirk Setting The East Ablaze by Peter Hopkirk The road to peace is paved with understanding.  These four books create an opportunity to understand the origins of the most intractable global peace problem of the […]

Don’t Sleep, There Are Snakes

By Daniel L. Everett   This memoir was written after the author lived among the Piraha, a small Amazonian Indian tribe.  “Daniel Everett arrived among the Piraha with his wife and three young children hoping to convert the tribe to Christianity.  Everett quickly became obsessed with their language and its cultural and linguistic implications.  The […]