Monday, March 15, 2010

Liana Badr

I haven't been in the mood for reading, writing, or doing any of the stuff I usually enjoy at all. The dull but continuous back pain that I suffer from must have had a lot to do with this semi-depressed state I've been in for the past couple of weeks. Medications help, but they make me drowsy and somewhat dis-inhibited, two traits I can definitely do without, especially at work.

But since feeling down was becoming more painful than the back, I started taking the pain-killers. As soon as I felt better, I was eager to resume my reading homework. I am trying to meet the challenge of reading 50 or more books per year. Unfortunately, I made the fatal mistake of picking up Liana Badr's The Eye of the Mirror.  I typically never read the books' jackets cause that spoils the thrill I get from venturing into the completely mysterious territories of a new novel. I only read it if  I am not  familiar with the writer and have doubts about the quality of the book, but since I  truly enjoyed Badr's Balcony over the Fakihani, when I read it a couple of years ago, I immediately dove into the book without any doubts.

This was a stupid move. Had I known that the book was about the yearlong inhuman siege of the Tel Ezza'tar refugees camp in Beirut, and the massacre that followed, I would have opted to read a different book until I was in a better mood. In the three days it took me to finish the book, not only did I bond with Aisha, Hana, Um Jalal, & Um Hassan, I actually felt like I was one of the besieged population of this doomed camp. By the time I finished reading the book, I actually felt like I've lost several loved ones. Needless to say, this did not help me much in my attempt to snap out of the blues.

I actually sent an email to Badr telling her that this must be the first (and hopefully the last) time I feel obliged to send a "thank you" note to someone for making me miserable. She was a good sport and actually replied suggesting that I read her latest book, which she promised was much lighter than the above mentioned books.

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