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Beirut Fragments: A War Memoir (Anglais) Relié – 31 décembre 1990

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Book by Makdisi Jean Said

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x9236e498) étoiles sur 5 7 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923fd5a0) étoiles sur 5 Great Book 25 août 2005
Par Hussain Abdul-Hussain - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Beirut Fragments is the only work on the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990) that covers the lives of ordinary Beirutis. Whereas almost all other books are loaded with interviews with politicians and analysts and are decorated with conclusions trying to understand the causes of the war and assess its consequent destruction, Jean Said Makdisi, the sister of the late famous Palestinian writer Edward Said, describes with skill her daily stressful life in Beirut during the Lebanese capital's dark days.

Where did people go when the different militias endlessly battled and exchanged bombardment with no apparent reason behind such behavior? How did people manage their daily lives? In Lebanon, answers to these questions are abundant and people talk about them anecdotally and sometimes with nostalgia. Yet, Makdisi offers the most remarkable written testament on the issue.

One of the book's most intriguing statements occurs toward the beginning of the books when Makdisi tries, in vein, to interpret the behavior of the warring factions as she comes up with the conclusion that the scene of the Lebanese civil strife was an incomprehensible kaleidoscope.

This marvelous book, however, includes a chapter about Makdisi's childhood days with her family in Egypt. The chapter, which belongs more to a book of memoirs or an autobiography, looks very much out of place and irrelevant.

Another drawback is Makdisi's apparent intention to capture the feelings of the people who survived the war in an absolute sense rather than offering a descriptive report about the days of this war as seen from the eyes of a regular citizen like Makdisi. Her attempt to keep the book empty of any names or dates - perhaps in order to keep the book away from inter-Lebanese sensitivities - strips the book of any context. Even though I was born and raised in Ras Beirut during the civil war, I could hardly imagine the places or tell the dates the book refers to, except for the Israeli invasion and the so-called War of Liberation.

This severe anonymity made Makdisi keep out even the names of her sons or immediate family members save for a single name, that of her husband Samir, which appeared without such restriction.

The book is a lovely read and Lebanon certainly needs more similar books with more names and dates that would describe the suffering of the daily lives of the Lebanese during that period.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923db9d8) étoiles sur 5 The city that looked death in the face 9 juin 2001
Par MR. FRANK FERRARI - Publié sur
Format: Broché
Makdisi's book is a remarkable testament to a shattered city that was raped, pillaged, battered, dismembered and physically left to die as a result of the civil war that raged from 1975 to 1990. The beauty of her writing lies in her heart wrenching simplicity and descriptive account of those terrible years seen through the eyes of a mother and teacher who witnessed the slow and lingering death of a city that she had grown to love. Every page is a testament to the people of Beirut who lived through the conflict and yet quite remarkably the passion that Makdisi feels for Beirut is heightened to dramatic effect whilst at the same time deploring the wages of war and how the city had become a playground for terrorist activities by largers players on the world scene. The people of Beirut were simply forgotten by the world and yet her love of humanity and how her hope remains unremitting is a shining example to mankind, amidst the carnage. A remarkable book, gripping and vivid, and a testimony to the belief that the human spirit can transcend all conflicts.
7 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923db9b4) étoiles sur 5 An eye-opening perspective. 15 janvier 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur
Format: Relié
I have read many books about the Lebanese civil war but Ms. Makdisi's book is by far one of the best. It helps provide a unique perspective and a much-needed understanding of the Lebanese civil war and a generation which lost everything that the rest of the world takes for granted. Indeed, war only looks easy from far away.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923c37c8) étoiles sur 5 An amazing and compelling personal account 19 décembre 2010
Par Rhonda Parker - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Not told from the high-brow, moralizing perspective of journalists, or reduced to dry politics or the dissertations of historians. Get a view of modern urban war from the vantage point of the ordinary citizen who must send their children to school and decide whether to risk the drive to work based on whether the local fighters are wearing combat fatigues or snoopy tee-shirts. The author writes in a down-to-earth style, but also soars at times with well-turned prose and gut-wrenching observations - mostly reads like a personal daily to weekly diary of the war (sometimes from the perspective of the apartment building's lower car garage that doubles as a shelter for tenants when the bombs begin to fall. Not just for the war buff or historian of the region, but also for those who want insight into the human condition. I highly recommend this book!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x923c3264) étoiles sur 5 Brilliantly captures life in beirut, the war years 17 décembre 2004
Par paper trail - Publié sur
Format: Broché
I was born in Beirut after the war started and left for the US just a few years after it ended. A few years ago I came across this book in a used-book store (sadly now closed) in Boston. It is incredible how well it captures the life and feelings of the people who stayed on in the city through those days. The day to day decisions, the scheduled cease-fires, the love of life that permeated through all the killing.

If you ever wondered what it was like living through the lebanese civil war, this is where you will find not just an account but a full recreation of a world slowly healing.
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