How to Organize your bookshelves.

Dear followers,
This video gives us, the viewers several examples of how to organize bookshelves in a nice, tidy, attracting way.
Remember the most important element in organizing your bookshelf is to balance the objects!

Enjoy,
Yara x

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December 8, 2013 · 9:15 pm

Weirdest reading habits.

Readers everywher,

We all have different habits while reading. Some of are weird and unique. I know I have some, So lets all share our reading habits!!
Some of these habits are:

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1- The inability to read in a silent room. 

I suffer from this habit, I cannot read in a silent room, I usually go sit in the living room (which is normally stuffed with all human race) and read, or I turn on the TV and read, although I dont watch TV, I just need the noise!

2- Reading in the bathtub.

A lot of people have the habit of reading in the bathtub, but you have to watch out, dont fall asleep or you’ll drop the book in the water!

3- Reading out loud for yourself.

But whyy?

4- Cursing at the book and/or character when something stupid happens and  talking to yourself when something you don’t like happens.

I think we all do that. Specially when you get so attached to the book!

5- First thing you do before reading a new book is smelling it.

I do this all the time. I love sniffing books, I think the smell of books is simply amazing!

6-  Having that urge to finish the chapter you’re in and absolutely HATING to stop in the middle of the chapter.

7-  Reading in the oddest places. Some read in the kitchen (me), with the constant change of sitting positions while reading.

8- Reading the last page of the book first!

I used to have this habit but then it annyoyed me and I stoped doing it because it killed my suspense.

9-  Sometimes you read like this:

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10-  Calculating how many pages are left for you to finish the book.

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Best 12 Arabic novels to read before you die.

Dear followers,

Arabic Literature has amazing novels that should be read. These novels  are simply amazing and they won several prizers, whether a local prize or the Nobel prize.

1- Season of Migration to the North, Al Tayeb Saleh.

2- Mourid Barghouti, I saw Ramallah.

3-Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz.

4- Yolo bu Elias Khoury.

5- Men in The Sun, Ghassan Kanafani.

6- Emile Habibi, The Pessoptimist. 

7- Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun.

8- Mahmoud Darwish. Anything and Everything!

9- Naguib Mahfouz, Cairo Triology.

10- The Hidden face of Eve, Nawal Al Saa’dawi.

11- Women of Algiers in Their Apartment, Assia Djebar.

12-  Wolf Dreams by Yasmina Khadra.

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Historical Fiction: Samarkand by Amin Maalouf

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Introduction:

This novel, published in 1988 is one of the most renowned books by Maalouf and for sure it is worth of all the praising it has received. This tale set us in the 11th century, meeting a young Omar Jayyám, a Persian wise man that we all know or have heard of in as many fields as mathematics, philosophy, astrology, physics and of course literature. As soon we are introduced to Jayyam’s character we can see the origins and birth of his famous poem Rubba’iyat. Along with the historical background, Maalouf sparkles his prose with excerpts of Jayyam’s poems that provides the text with a very powerful and melodic cadence.

About the author:

Amin Maalouf, a Lebanese writer whose second novel, Samarkand, has already won a leading literary prize in France, has conjured up Central Asia in the 11th century, when the cities of Bukhara and Samarkand were the greatest in the world. Maalouf’s descriptions of the courts, the bazaar, the lives of mystics, kings and lovers are woven into an evocative and languid prose. Without appearing to labour at it, the novel sets a tone that is in perfect harmony with Sufi mysticism, successfully mirroring the paradoxes, subtle irony and self-deprecating humour of Sufi writing.

Analysis:

The first half of the book is centered along three figures that were friends and one of the most important triumvirate from the Islamic world history: Nizam el-Molk who was the Persian vizier for Turkish Sultan Malik Sha; Hassan Sabah, a very wise and cruel man who becomes the founder of the Ismaeli community that interpreted Islam in a different way and also the main figure behind the Hashshashin group (explaining that this word can be the origin of the Spanish word Asesino, or Assasin in english, due to the extreme nature of violence incarnated in the clan); of course missing there is Jayyam, an extraordinary man that never wants to get involved in politics or anything related but can’t avoid it since everybody turns to him to his advise.

It is a time where ancient Persia is dominated by the Seljuq Empire but at the same time there are cities like Samarkand that is still an independent city.
The city is of course one of the main characters along the trio already mentioned, always present in all actions, mindsets and specially in the creation of the famous and historic Jayyam’s book. With the city as an eternal presence Maalouf narrates the tribulations of the three heroes through all his life and the path each one took folliwing his ideals.

This is the most beatifully narrated part consisting of two of the four books that complete the novel. After we see the ending of these three symbological and magical figures and their death we are turned to the voice telling the story, an American man named Benjamin O. Lessage who at the end of the XIX century becomes interested in the Rubba’iyat and after his uncle tells him the original version written by Jayyam still exists he enrolls in a quest to find the book. The journey takes him to Constantinople, France and Persia twice, where he is the protagonist of a civil war in Tabriz, a Persian city where a revolt strikes against the Shah in order to create in Persia a democratic state with a constitution. In this part we realise what happened with those early attempts for democracy in middle east and why Russia, France and the UK are enormous barriers that does not allow this situation to concrete.

Conclusion:

Maalouf has written an extraordinary book, describing the lives and times of people who have never appeared in fiction before and are unlikely to do so again. The book is far more than a simple historical novel; like the intricate embroidery of an oriental carpet it weaves back and forth through the centuries, linking the poetry, philosophy and passion of the Sufi past with modernism. The lines in the Rubaiyat that lament the death of Jahan ring out, 900 years later, to mourn the American’s loss of his beloved Shireen.

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Film review: Salt of this Sea

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Film Details:

Salt of this Sea is Palestinian political and emotional feature directed by a female director Annemarie Jacir. The film stars Palestinian-American poet Suheir Hammad as Soraya, and the Palestinian actor Saleh Bakri.

Nominations and Awards:

FIPRESCI PRIZE – INTERNATIONAL CRITICS AWARD, International Federation of Film Critics, 2008, FIRST PRIZE – BEST FILM, Sguardi Altrove Film Festival, Italy 2009. SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, Osians Asian & Arab Film Festival, 2008, BEST FIRST FILM, Traverse City Film Festival, 2009. SPECIAL JURY PRIZE, Oran International Festival of Arab Cinema, 2009. RANDA CHAHAL PRIZE. Journées cinématographiques de Carthage, 2008. BEST SCREENPLAY, Dubai International Film Festival, 2008. BEST OF FEST SELECT, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival 2009. AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD, Houston Palestine Film Festival, 2009. AUDIENCE CHOICE AWARD – BEST FEATURE, Chicago Palestine Film Festival, 2009. HONORABLE MENTION, Cairo Refugee Film Festival, 2009. AUDIENCE CHOICE RUNNER UP, Toronto Palestine Film Festival, 2008. PALESTINE’S OFFICIAL OSCAR ENTRY FOR BEST FOREIGN-LANGUAGE FILM, 2008. SOPADIN FINALIST, Grand Prix Best Screenplay, 2007. CINEMA IN MOTION AWARDS, San Sebastian Film Festival, 2007.

About the director:

Originally…

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How to squeeze a reading hour in a busy schedule?

In today’s rapidly moving society, even the biggest bibliophiles sometimes have problems finding the time to sit down with a good read. But if you are creative and observant, you’ll begin to see how parts of your everyday routine can be used as reading opportunities.

1) To save some time, buy or download an audio copy of a book so you can listen to instead of reading; although this is not my favorite option.

2) Carry your reading material everywhere you go. This way if you have a few moments for yourself, you’ll have the opportunity to read.

3) Read (or listen to your audio book) while you are waiting in line, for your food, for paperwork, while you’re in the bank.

4) If you are a college student, read a book between classes instead of fooling around.

5) Mark where you left reading so you wouldn’t reread pages you already read or waste time finding your page.

6) For all girls out there buy a purse that is actually big enough to contain your book.

7) Join a book group! This commitment will enable you to read faster and have a more enjoyable reading experience.

8) Read everyday when you go to bed or when you wake up in the morning.

9) Read with your husband/fiance/ best friend/ favorite person in the world, which will give you an amazing reading experience and a great experience for the both of you.

10) Most importantly read what you LOVE.  If you don’t like what you are reading and it’s not required, read something else. There’s no law that says you can’t abandon a book just because you don’t like it. If you do love a book, you’re more likely to return to it and you’ll probably finish it faster.

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The uprising of women in the Arab world through “Confessions of an Angry Arab woman”

صوت المرأة ثورة

The Modern Uprising of Women through the specs of I killed Scheherazade.

On the Author:

Joumana Haddad (born Salloum, December 6, 1970,Beirut) is a Lebanese poet, translator, journalist and women rights activist.She has already published several poetry collections, widely acclaimed by critics. Her books have been translated to many languages and published abroad. Speaking seven languages and has written books in different languages, and has also published several works of translation. Joumana Haddad has been awarded the Arab Press Prize in 2006. In October 2009, she has been chosen as one of the 39 most interesting Arab writers under 39.In November 2009, she won the International Prize North South for poetry, of the Pescarabruzzo Foundation in Italy. In February 2010, she won the Blue Metropolis Al Majidi Ibn Dhaher Arab Literary Prize. In August 2010, she received the Rodolfo Gentili Prize in Porto Recanati, Italy. In November 2012, she received the Cutuli Prize for journalism in Catania, Italy. In July 2013, she was appointed honorary ambassador for culture and human rights for the city of Naples in the Mediterranean by the mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris. As of February 2012, Joumana also teaches at the Lebanese American University in Beirut.

About the Book:

I killed Scheherazade is a very brave, courageous and illuminating book. It is  a revolution within female literature among the Arab world. I killed Scheherazade plays as a manifesto for the Arabian female persona, Haddad breaks all the rules and plays on the restricted and the taboo. Joumana Haddad broke the silence of Arab women with a voice that can not be unheard. This book teaches young women in the Middle east to be authentic, to be intellectual and not to be intimidated.

Analysis and the relation to the Modern Uprising of Women in the Arab World:

In I killed Scheherazade Joumana Haddad is angry. She finds the West’s portrayal of Arab women appalling and the image projected by many Middle Eastern women infuriating. In I Killed Scheherazade, Haddad challenges prevalent notions of Arab womanhood and, in the process, shatters the centuries-old stereotype of Scheherazade, the virgin heroine of The Arabian Nights who won the king’s affections. Fiery and candid, this provocative exploration of what it means to be an Arab woman today will enlighten and inform a new international feminism. I Killed Scheherazade is a rapid-fire literary, often poetic, attacks upon the enemies of full, thus explicit, feminist expression, both the covert adversaries and the obvious ones, that hits the bulls-eye time after time. With the precision of a sniper and the tenacity of a pit bull. Joumana Haddad turns over all the rocks to expose the life beneath them: Western feminist ideas about Arab women, Arab hypocrisy in literary criticism, and Christian and Islamic fundamentalism. A force this strong has the potential to become a tsunami, given time, circumstances, and audience. As a young author living in a time of revolution and liberation, Haddad’s ebullient expression is a foretaste of the broader vision that will surely be realized, one which her own voice has inspired. Joumana Haddad is a symbol for the awakening of Arab women, for the revolution of the female character against her oppression. I am not saying that all women are oppressed and on all levels, but one would be amazed to find some of the oppression stories within Middle Eastern societies, one of the biggest examples is honor killing. Honor killing has to be the most important issue we as females MUST fight in the Middle East to save women, whether a woman was a sinner or not, whether she was a prostitute or a saint, no one has the right to decide to end the life of a human being.  If we tried to relate this work of revolution to the Women’s revolution in the Arab world, we’d find that Joumana Haddad has been a spark, a torch for the change. Joumana Haddad serves as a force for every female to change, to define herself as an independent, productive, active and significant part of society. The uprising of women in the Arab world suggests that the young women were captivated by the uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa last year. The moment was a poignant one for Arab feminists. Though few outside the Arab world know it, women’s radicalism in the region has long and deep roots that span more than a century. As the uprisings unfolded across the region, this legacy was there for all to see. Women stood not only in defiance of brutal dictatorships, but also cultural norms that many times encouraged, and in some cases enforced, women’s exclusion from the public sphere. Yet, the euphoria following Mubarak’s fall had barely subsided when disturbing reports began to surface. In Egypt, women who had gathered in Tahrir square to commemorate the first international women’s day following the revolution, were, as Hania Sholkamy has reported “attacked, harassed, ridiculed, shouted down and ultimately chased out of the square.” In the months that followed, women protesters would be arrested and subjected to virginity tests, intimidation, and trial by military tribunals.  Moreover, eminism belongs to all women, comes from all women and is practised at some level by all women. Feminism is a direct response to  misogyny, violence, discrimination, sexism and the disaster that is patriarchy – disaster for both the earth and humanity. Arab women have been feminists since the year dot and do not need Western women or Arab  men to tell them how to be feminists or not to be feminists.

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