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Lebanese Literature & Film

Taghrid Alrajoula LAE 6467-901- Summer 2013

Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout

Novels Contemporary/Young Adult Protagonist Al-

The story of Zahra. New York: Anchor Books, 1995. Print. ISBN: 9780385472067 This book is a powerful portrayal of the personal

turmoil that occurs concurrently with political unrest and civil war. Zahra is a young woman struggling with mental health issues and trying to grow in a troubled atmosphere. The book tackles tough issues- molestation, abortion, infidelity, and the difficulties of being an adolescent- all during the civil war in Leb

o T e stor is told from Z

r ’s perspective i

poignant, heartfelt way, consistent with Hanan Al-


writing. The issues of being betrayed by an adult, emotional i st bilit

d t e e r i g to be co te t wit o e’s self re timeless t emes in

literature addressed through the apprehensive Zahra.

Classic Gibran, Kahlil. The prophet. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1923. Print. ISBN: 9780394404288 This piece of literature is the archetype of the timeless writing style of Khalil Gibran. This short, but powerful, book has a series of essays ranging from topics such as wealth, love, religion, work, joy, etc. Gibran has eloquently and elegantly weaved together a stunning series of essays enjoyed by generations of cultures and age groups.

Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout

Nonfiction/Infusion Abdelnour, Salma. Jasmine and fire: A bittersweet year in Beirut. New York: Broadway, 2012. Print. ISBN: 9780307885944 This beautifully written memoir-style book gives readers a glimpse of what it is like to live in two of the most bustling cities in the world- New York and Beirut. Abdelnour, a native of Lebanon, a reporter and food writer, writes with sensory-laden language of what life was like living in Lebanon for a year after spending the majority of her life in the United States (after fleeing civil w r wit

er p re ts i

er out ) er po deri gs o “ ome ” frie ds ips f mil

and life make this read enjoyable and soul-searching.

Contemporary/Infusion Douaihy, Jabbour. Autumn Equinox. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2001. Print. ISBN:9781557287076 This diary-style written book offers readers a glimpse i to w

t life could

ve bee li e i Leb

o i t e l te ‘80s

The story is told from the perspective of a man who recently graduated college in the United States and is coming back to his village in Lebanon. His entries reveal the oft-tough process of adjustment and his experiences in doing so. The descriptive writing is relatable to anyone who is struggling to fi d o e pl ce to c ll “ ome ”

Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout

Short Stories Classic B ’l b

i L l “T e C t ” Arab Women Writers: An Anthology of Short Stories. Ed. Cohen-Mor, Dalya. Albany, NY: University of New York Press, 2005. 92-6. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) Web. 5 June 2013. The author uses a cat and her kittens as a metaphor for her tumultuous

family and childhood- the confusion and unrest they feel after birth. Then, she goes on to describe having a nagging sense of dependency well into her adulthood. She hates being alone, to the point that she has a relationship with a married man- just so s e wo ’t be alone. The story documents her inner-struggles to end the relationship and gain a sense of independence.

Nonfiction/ Infusion Kupfer Fer “A ot er Tr ditio

l Ar b-Jewis Iow Potluc ” Swaying: Essays on

Intercultural Love. Grearson, Jessie Carroll and Lauren B. Smith. Iowa City, Iowa. University of Iowa Press, 1995. 114-125 eBook Collection (EBSCOhost) Web. 5 June 2013. This short story is a touching account of a marriage between an unlikely pair: a Jewish woman and a Lebanese man. The author describes the awkward encounter t di

er upo

er f mil ’s closest frie ds fi di g out- gasp- her husband was not

Jewish. Yet, she discusses how truly similar she found their families and backgrounds to be. As immigrants with fussy families and rich cultural histories, the author discusses how her marriage created a “rich mosaic” that was representative of where they are from and where they are going.

Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout Contemporary/Infusion B r


od “C

t ” Hikayat: Short Stories by Lebanese Women. Khalaf, Roseanne,

Saad. Berekely, CA. Telegram, 2006. 60-63. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 5 June 2013. T is s ort stor describes mot er’s l me t s s e tries to e sure t

t er

son does not lose his ability to speak Arabic. She describes her love for language and her concern of her son (and fellow Lebanese youth) chatting online, further forgetting their Arabic. She is fascinated, and a little disconcerted, at the new language developing online.

Children’s Book

Boueri, Marijean. Lebanon 1-2-3: A Counting Book in Three Languages. Beirut: Publishing Works, 2005. Print. ISBN: 9781933002033 This beautifully illustrated book follows two Lebanese children as they walk to t eir gr

dmot er’s ouse T e boo is writte i couplets i E glis Fre c

Arabic. Readers are given a glimpse of the natural beauty of Lebanon and the warmth of the friends and family of the youth. It is a great reminder of slowing down to appreciate the natural beauty of your surroundings and the splendor of youth.


Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout


Contemporary “ u


t (C r mel) ” (2007) Dir N di e

Labaki This movie centers around five women of different generations who work at a hair salon. They are dealing with situations ranging from extramarital affairs to familial obligations and first loves. Even though the movie does ot me tio Leb

o ’s electric

political atmosphere, it instead focuses on the day-to-day tribulations women in Lebanon face.

Documentary “Veiled Voices ” (2010) Dir M

er Brigid

This documentary follows a handful of Syrian and Leb

ses “s ei

s ” –basically the equivalent of

female priests in Islam. The documentary laments the struggles they face in trying to be seen as equals to their male counterparts in the mosque. Their determination, faith, and resounding love for humanity shine throughout the documentary. Despite gender inequality in their cultures, they succeed in what they do.

Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout

Poetry Contemporary dd d Jum d K led M tt w Invitation to a Secret Feast: Selected Poems. Dorset: Tupelo Press, 2008. Print.

Don’t Let it Linger I will be strewn on your bed like fingerprints of fire. I will be implanted in your night and my day will spill out from your jar. I will know your rooms by heart, word for word, your verses line by line. I will run and run in front of you I will run and run in front of you d I will c tc t e wi d’s


d pull it lo g

My mouth will slide from your forehead to your neck from your neck to that most significant crux. I will unload my dreams on your shoulders and you will let me wander. Come along. The earth is collapsing on me, but I will not flee into myself. Lust wants to taste me, but I will not guide it to my home. My dress is devouring me. I will not expel it alone. Come along.

Taghrid Alrajoula Works from Lebanon Handout You barge into my head and I veil myself with fantasy and chase you. Come I wo ’t c ll out to ou g i Come, cling to me d do ’t w ste m dizz m d ess Beware not to let my fragrance linger. Do ’t let it rem i be i d once I am gone!