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!


Love
Sepo!

20 comments:

  1. Appy for a PhD..

    (praveen bhaiya ke comment ko besharmi se copy-paste kar raha hun:P)

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  2. Not without my daughter is one of the most touching stories I've read. So is Thousand splendid suns and Kite runner. I haven't read the other two.. must get my hands on them now!

    ♥ www.thegirlatfirstavenue.com

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    1. You should read Princess, you will love it!

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  3. Hey
    me read Kite runner, Thousand splendid suns and Not without my daughter..disturbingly fascinating. I think the Middle East has a beautiful culture and in some way close to the Indian ethos. They have their share of problems like we do..dogmatic religious beliefs and traditions which always put women at a disadvantage.

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    1. True! There closeness to the Indian culture is also something that I am attracted to :)

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  4. ijust love "thousand splendid suns"...

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  5. haha..abhi is right..Appy for a PhD..

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  6. You are absolutely gorgeous! Cute blog! =)

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks Hope!

      You yourself have a very colourful and vibrant blog! I loved it :-)

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  7. Try Growing Up Bin Laden, also by Jean Sasson. I share your passion for the middle east, although I haven't read as many books as you have. I did grow up there, though :)

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    1. Desperately want to read Growing up with laden!!

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  8. @Praveen ji

    I think I should :P

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  9. SEPO! You're awesome :) Thanks for being a loyal reader of my blog!

    I loved Khaled Hosseini's books - both of them. "A Thousand Splendid Suns" made me cry, though! When I was reading it, in the very beginning when Laila decides to accept the jerk's proposal, I cried so hard... as though I was going through her problems myself, as though I had a perfect reason to just let all my tears out.

    Have you watched the movie for The Kite Runner? It was pretty well done! The acting was also great, although I read that the kid stars of the film didn't get a fair share of the profit! :S In fact, their lives were threatened as a result of the movie!

    I've heard about "Not without My Daughter," but I haven't read the book yet. It's definitely at the top of the list of books I must read, though. Hopefully this summer!

    Also, I've read "Princess Sultana's Daughter," but be aware that there's alotta controversy over all of Jean Sasson's books on the Saudi Royal family, particularly in regards to the authenticity of the information she provides in her books. I'm personally not a big fan of Sasson myself. I mean, yes, it's great to highlight the major issues that women are facing everywhere (that everyone's facing everywhere, really), but I question her agendas .... we can talk on this some time!

    k, I shouldn't let this get any longer now :D

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    1. I did his this somewhere, I guess on the internet about the controversy about the Jean Sasson books, but nevertheless I do like reading them!

      But I we will definitely talk about this some time!

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