Book Review: Friendships that bind through war

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By Manal Shakir

maryamAlawiya Sobh’s “Maryam, Keeper of Stories” is a story that explores the lives of a few Lebanese women during the Lebanese Civil War. It was first written in 2002, originally in Arabic and won the Sultan Qaboos Prize. Nirvana Tanoukhi translated it into English 10 years later.

The book begins with a narrator named Maryam who is looking for Alawiyya Subuh, her writer friend who was going to write and publish Maryam’s story, and the stories of her family and friends, Ibtisam and Yasmine. But Alawiyya has disappeared, as has the story, “And all that I told her passed into nothing.”

With the disappearance of Alawiyya and Maryam’s looming emigration to Canada, she recalls everything she told Alawiyya of her past and her family’s past, sometimes angrily, sometimes somberly, wondering why Alawiyya did not keep her promise and write down their stories. Read more

Source: Arab News

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