Friday, February 24, 2012

The Great Middle East Obsession

So it's proved now, I am officially besotted, smitten and fanatical about everything having even a minute ting of anything Middle East about it. It started off with Thousand Splendid Suns, an enchanting book by Mr Khalid Hossieni. I loved this book so much so that I have re-read it numerous times over the years and publicized it verbally and on blog here and here

Soon after finishing this book, I was suddenly smitten by the Afghan people, Afghanistan and its culture. I yearned to know more about the Pashtuns, Taziks and Hazaras (the main tribes in Afghanistan). It was nearly at this time that I came across this blog. Apart from now being friends with this friendly Pashtun girl, I do get my periodic updates about the ethics and culture of Pashtun people and of her cute niece Kashmala.

Meanwhile I also read The Kite Runner, which further strengthened my resolve to visit the unfortunate land of Afghanistan. By the way I have this dream of visiting Afghanistan at least once in my lifetime, I don’t know how this dream of mine will be fulfilled but I just hope I get to visit Afghanistan at least once.

After reading this book I was suddenly googling a lot about Afghanistan, its culture and also simultaneously broadening my horizons over the Middle East  in large. Then I laid my hands on Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody (which again  is a must read by the way). This book explores Iran and Iranian culture, which again was loved my me.

Soon after I read Princess by Jean P. Sasson, which explored the Saudi Arabian culture, something I was dying to know about since a long time. I devoured this emotional trauma of a book in a single day and I can’t say that I slept peacefully for days after reading this book. Now the scenario is such that I pick up pretty much any book which has even a slight inkling of anything remotely Middle East combined with subject of subjugation of women on its cover page. The very recent being For the Love of a Son, again by Jean P Sasson. This book too explores the life of Afghan women, there miserable lives and pathetic conditions. I have been reading this book in huge junks even though I am home for a vacation. I hope to be able to read all books written by Jean P Sasson (which are a lot, by the way!)

Once I am done reading these books, I always yearn for more. I am like, “No way, Am I on the last page already? So soon? I wanted more.” I make myself feel better by googling as much as I can about the culture, cuisines and people of the Middle East. The books have such heartbreaking stories and instances that they never fail to bring tears in my eyes even when I am just thinking about them. I intend to do a post which has all the lines and stories from all these books which are special to me very soon.
Stay Tuned!