Reviews

Nahla Ink Stars – 4 out of 5!

 

I owe my dear friend Magda a big thank you for letting me borrow her treasured copy of Mustafa Ben-Halims’s 'Libya - The Years of Hope', for it is not easy to come by. Although dense and heavy at 343 pages, it does add an extra dimension to the recent February 17 Libyan Revolution with Ben Halim's heartfelt recommendations, especially for the younger Libyan generation, when he wrote the book.

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Review and In Conversation with the Author

 

The Libyan academic Mabroka Al-Wefalli took a big personal risk when she first conducted a local survey in 2001, to question the Libyan respondents’ attitude towards their political regime and participation - or lack thereof - in the system’s so-called grassroots democratic organs. She also examined their views as to how the regime must legitimize its rule – or not - to remain in place for the foreseeable future.

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Nahla Ink Stars – 4 out of 5!

 

This novel is about an author’s incredible restraint. Hisham Matar, who has in real life suffered a publicly documented tragedy – the loss and disappearance of his father – doesn’t in 246 pages mention the word Libya, the true source of his grief and misery. Easily, he can blame, accuse and point the finger; but rather, Matar in this novel reclaims the personal, ignores the current political and rises above the sordid history.

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Nahla Ink Stars – 4 out of 5!

 

If Jasad, the erotic magazine published by Joumana Haddad was “to create a cultural body for our Arab bodies and to inquire intellectually into the consciousness of the body and into its unconsciousness”, then the book I Killed Scheherazade: Confessions of an Angry Arab Woman is purposefully about the freedom and the liberation of the Arab mind that is “in crisis” – or, at least, according to Haddad.

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Nahla Ink Stars - 5 out of 5!

 

The letters of Van Gogh have always provided an amazing insight and mirror reflection of the man behind the incredible Art that the world has admired for over a century and are now almost an institution in themselves. He left as legacy almost a thousand letters written mostly as correspondence to his younger brother Theo but also including many others addressed to his sister Wil and artist friends.

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Nahla Ink Stars – 3 out of 5​!

 

Reading this collection of emails on the lives of four young Saudi girls, I was consciously trying to note down the scandalous revelations and confessions that had made them the talk of town five years ago when they were first distributed in Arabic via a yahoo group on the internet. To be honest, I didn’t find much to agree with what the back cover said or what the early reviews had proclaimed that this book was a dangerous exposé on the secret lives of the elite velvet class in Riyadh.

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