Monday, September 26, 2005

LBC's May Chidiac loses an arm and a leg in a car bomb:
The real stories behind The Constant Gardener


sarah said...


Sorry--this has nothing to do with your post. I was wondering if you knew anything about the authors Ilham Mansour or Hanan AlSheikh. I finally found an American online bookstore that sells non-islamic, Arabic language books ("american"= don't have to pay too much for shipping). They seem to have a lot of women authors (hurrah!). But I am a pretty picky reading (don't want anything too depressing, and I don't care too much for romance).

Ok, now this is mildly related to your post: I read Constant Gardener a couple of years ago, and-oh my god-I hated it. Way too depressing! I'd rather read stuff like "No.1 Ladies' detective agency" and pretend everyone in Africa is happy and safe :)

kwtia said...

Hi Sarah, let's see..I am more familiar with Hanan Al-Shaykh, even though I have read nothing by either author..though I should of course..
I have heard of Mansour's "Ana, Hiya, Ant" which got some bad press because it didn't quite live up to the subversive social critique it tried to be..
Hanan Al-Shaykh is more well known..oh wait I did read 'Women of Sand a Myrrh' for a was the English was ok..nothing particularily earth shattering..hhhmmm, she's Lebanese..I heard that 'Beirut Blues' is worth a read..
If you want to check out more women writers try looking at Fadwa Touqan(Poet),Yasmin Zahran, Nazik Il Malaika (poet), Hoda Barakat, Sahar Khalifa...if they have an option where you can read an excerpt that would be never really know if you will like something unless you read a bit of it and it somehow demands that you keep going..
I would guess that The Constant Gardener would be quite depressing..I know what you are saying..I think it's a worthy topic though..will you catch the movie, do you think?

sarah said...


Unfortunately the bookstore website doesn't have a "read an excerpt" option. In fact, it doesn't have a "click to enlarge the image" option either. It's a badly designed site. However, it's the only one I have found after a couple of years of searching. I was looking for Naguib Mahfouz, since I really like him in English, but the only 2 things of his that they have are: A book I didn't really like, and Mahfouz's Complete Works ($150). And I don't really want to invest that much money into something that I may not read!

The contemporary novels were around $5-$10, and I don't mind spending that on an experiment. So, I think I'll just get one book at a time and see how it goes.

As for the Constant Gardener: I'm 99.9% sure that I can't drag my husband to the movie theater to watch it, and I don't want to go alone. I'll probably end up renting it when it comes out on DVD. I kind of want to see Hotel Rwanda, but I'm worried that it will be very violent. Have you seen it?

That's a thing I really like about your blog: I can find out about the atrocities in the world from your blurbs, and then if I can handle it, I can click on the links to get more information (I don't have violent images forced on to me!)

kwtia said...

Hotel Rwanda isn't a gore fest...what you will feel is anger and sorrow..but it's worth a viewing..don't be afraid of it..I posted something relating to it before seeing it (March 20th post).. if you want some of the background before deciding to see it..
Let me know what books you end up reading and if you recommend any.. :)

coquine said...

I wonder how many more of these "accidents" Lebanon has to endure before it can start enjoying its complete independance.
What happened to May Chidiac is every person's nightmare. I find myself looking for updates on her situation every day.
... and what these pharmaceutical companies are doing in Africa - that article was pretty horrendous too ! What's the world coming to :)

kwtia said...

Hi Coquine,
Yes, terrible often get more articles about her if you google 'Beirut' rather than her name..for some odd reason..
And the Big Pharma stuff just makes you want to break glass, with your teeth.