Books on our Minds: Summer 2018

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Beirut '75

Originally published in Arabic in 1974, Beirut '75 is a provocative and creative examination of the Lebanese Civic War. It addresses struggles of Arab society, particularly the Lebanese, but the message is one of the universal human condition.

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Do Muslim Women Need Saving?

Lila Abu-Lughod

Do Muslim Women Need Saving? is an indictment of a mindset that has justified all manner of foreign interference, including military invasion, in the name of rescuing women from Islam. It offers a detailed, moving portrait of the actual experiences of ordinary Muslim women, and of the contingencies with which they live.

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The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq

This unforgettable work of nonfiction tells harrowing stories of women who escaped the clutches of Daesh.  As their tales unfold an unlikely hero emerges, a beekeeper, whose astute knowledge of the war-torn landscape helps bring these women back into safety. 

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My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer

In her heartwarming and empowering memoir, space pioneer Anousheh Ansari tells the story of her childhood in Iran, settling down in Texas and building a computer technology firm from the ground up, which eventually realized a net worth of $750 million and ultimately allowed her to achieve her childhood dream of spaceflight.

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Daring to Drive: A Saudi Women’s Awakening

An intimate memoir by a devout woman from a modest family in Saudi Arabia who became the unexpected leader of a courageous movement to support women’s right to drive.

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Fifty Million Rising: The New Generation of Working Women Transforming the Muslim World

A unique, deeply researched book of a seismic shift with global significance of Muslim women as they claim a seat at the table.

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Persepolis I & II

In two comic books, Satrapi, Iranian author and illustrator, tells an intensely personal and profoundly political story of coming of age.

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The Breadwinner

This novel tells the story of Parvana, an Afghan girl, who must disguise herself as a boy to save her mother and sisters from starvation. It is an honest, heart-breaking and positive story of an act of enormous courage and creative survival in the intolerable Taliban-ruled world.

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Until We Are Free:  My Fight for Human Rights in Iran

Lila Abu-Lughod

The first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian human rights lawyer, tells her inspiring story of courage and defiance in the face of a government out to destroy her, her family, and her mission: to bring justice to the people of her beloved country.

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Reading Lolita in Tehran

Published in 2003, New York Times bestseller, Nafisi gives us a rare glimpse, from the inside, of women’s lives in revolutionary Iran. It is a remarkable exploration of resilience in the face of tyranny, and a celebration of the liberating power of literature.

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Palestine 

Palestine, a political and historical nonfiction book in graphic form, is about Joe Sacco's experiences in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s.  It has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus for its excellent navigation of politically and socially charged subject matters within the confines of the comic book medium. (Note:  This book is not suitable for young children.)

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Jewels of Allah:  The Untold Story of Women in Iran

A valuable primer for those who want to develop an understanding of women’s experiences in Iran after the revolution.