Book Club: Ramallah Chapter (English)
We have been hosting Book Club chapters for two years now and are pleased to continue sharing English books. If you are interested in our Arabic chapter, check out the announcement for upcoming meetings.
Reading can be a wonderful experience but being able to share with others your excitement or disappointment can make it that much better! If you would like to join a chapter, email us and pick up a reading kit. There is no cost (except for a returnable deposit for borrowed books).
December's Book of the Month
"Welcome to Paradise" by Mahi Binebine
About the author: Mahi Binebine was born in Marrakech in 1959. He studied in Paris and taught mathematics, until he became recognized first as a painter, then as a novelist. Between 1994 - 1999 he lived in New York, when his paintings began to be acquired by the Guggenheim Museum. He now lives in Marrakech with his family. Binebine has written six novels which have been translated into various languages.
About the book: Mahi Binebine's courageous novel takes place in Morocco, where seven would-be immigrants, pulled by the dream of a better life, gather one night near the Strait of Gibraltar, the ten-mile-wide waterway that separates Europe and Africa, to wait for a signal from traffickers that it is time to cross. While they wait, their stories unfold: Kacem is an escapee from the civil war in Algeria; Nuara, with her newborn child, hopes to find her husband, who hasn't been in touch for months since moving to France; and Aziz, the young narrator, and his cousin Reda are severed, in different ways, from their families in southern Morocco. They all share a longing to escape and a readiness to risk everything, but the only person who can help them is Morad, a fast-talking ex-con. Welcome to Paradise delves into a world that most readers know only from stories on the nightly news, delivering a compassionate glimpse into the difficulties facing asylum seekers and a striking portrait of human desperation.