A Moonless Starless Sky by Alexis Okeowo


 As I read this book it dawned on me how my continent can be so beautiful and seductive to anyone who visit it but it also had another side which is dark and it could explain why many horrific things seems to happen only in AfricaThis book moves through four countries two eastern African countries and two western African countries

This countries are Uganda Somalia Mauritania and Nigeria.

Each of these countries have it is difficulties and obstacles but also brave activists who also tries to surpass those obstacles and hardships and improve their countries.

In Uganda we read LRA which is Christian cult like terrorist group who abducts children and use them as soldiers in their fight against government.

It is usually easy to condemn people who we call terrorist but if you tried to understand the circumstances which forced into taking arms you can at least partially understand them

As Uganda retook their freedom from Britain in 1960 the country was plunged into series of coups and in the latest coup in 1983 the tribes felt marginalised and then came Kony who persuaded-the northern tribes to take arms against the government but ironically when people turned their back on LRA, LRA started attacking the same people it said was protecting.

Another I found interesting in the book was how society react to surrendered insurgents, I mean even after the government gave amnesty to insurgents most people could not accept them back and even after their rehabilitation, still people blamed them for the loss of their beloved sons and daughters and ironically the perpetrators of this crime are also victims since some of the insurgents are brainwashed teenagers who although their acts shocks you but you can’t stop feeling pity for them.

In Mauritania we follow brave activist who was attacking the Slavery problems in the country.

I wonder why people in my country and in other African countries associate fair skin and silky hair to superiority and why some think the more darker person the more eligible person is to be slaved.

In Mauritania where minority tribes of Arab descendants control the state and still practiced Slavery.

Mauritania was the last country to abolish slavery in the world and even after abolishing it, it was still used by the White moors.

White Moors are tribes who came from Arabic descent or Berber Descent and although being minority they control most of the important parts in the country and practice caste like segregation in the country.

Te fairer your skin the less difficulties you will face and just by the luck of being fair skin it can help in many ways.

Islam and Slavery:- it seems although the faith encouraged it’s believers to free their slaves but the same faith is used to make case for slaving darker skin members of society.

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The Vegetarian by Han Kang

kang

Somehow it seems i don’t read much Eastern Asian novels and since i want to dedicate myself more to this new blog i will try to review more books here.

Although i tend to distrust popular book prizes or books prized by major newspapers and i tend also resist the temptations of reading books which have many buzz around them but am also weak toward translated book and if it is a novel from countries i never read from books so i habe picked this short but heavy novel

It is a short as it consists of 188 pages but also heavy as it deals with topics which are not ususally the normal table talks and so i found myself stopping midway not of awe but also of the heavy subjects it speaks off.
although the book donot talks about vegetarianism but it talks about Resistance,Conformity,Mental illness,sexism.domestic violence rape and consent and what if people who are most close to you are the people who least understand you, what you are going through or what you are needing.

The protoganist of the novel is yeong hye which is a common women who after one dream stops eating meat that leads her to confront her family and her husband as they refuse her new decision and tries to force her to return to eating meat.

We read the story from three angles the first part of the book we read her husband version of what happened and in the second part we read her sister husband and in the third part we read her sister version of what has happened

I recommend this book to anyone intersted in Korean literature but also able to stomach reading such stories of mental breakdown.

Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig

Name:- Burning Secret

Author :- Stefan Zweig

Publisher:- Pushkin press

Published:- January 1/2008

Paperback:- 128 pages

Price :- $ 16

Translated  by :- Anthea Bell
Ten years ago i was full of Hate misunderstanding and stupid ideas about western people

All i used to read was theological works and anything political i ever read in Arabic  teached me a lot but also made my mind somehow corrupted and stupid.

I was fourteen then and all i ever read was political books and within that books all i read was full of antisemitic occidental and could  be hate speech now

But one day a Jewish guy introduced himself to me and after several hours of talking he gave me something so dear that fould be called a life changing.

He gave me an old copy of  Stefan Zweig book the Royal Game or chess and since that day to now i never stopped reading and also importantly starting critical thinking of everything and stop accepting all lies i used to read or believe.

I think and believe that Zweig has saved me only from Radicalism since the people i used to go with are mostly dead since they all either have joined Alqaeda or recently ISIS

Zweig writings opened me a door to appreciate The beauty life and respec Humandignity also.

Sorry for my long introduction but i just had to give you a small introduction to you reader about myself and how a singke book or writer can change you.

Most of the story centers Around Hotel

Coming of age story where childhood Innocense and trust are lost where also Oedipus COmplex also occurs.

The story starts with Baron takes reside in the hotel and since his a man eho loves company he looks through the list of guest in the hotel and since he didn’t know of them he felt disappointed

Why did I come? he began to ask himself restlessly. Staying up

here in the mountains alone, without congenial companions, why, it’s worse than being at the office.

I’m obviously either too early or too late in the season. I’m always out of luck with my holidays; I never find anyone I know among the other guests

And in his depressed he starts to loiter around the hotel and wastes his time looking vaguely through Newspapers  or windows.

The Baron’s gloomy face had suddenly brightened. Deep down, his nerves were at work

invigorating it, smoothing out lines, tensing muscles, while he sat up very straight and a sparkle came

into his eyes. He himself was not unlike those women who need the presence of a man if they are to

exert their whole power. Only sensuous attraction could stimulate his energy to its full force

Here comes Mathilda and her son Edgar who had come to the hotel in order for  convalescence.

she was a type he liked very much, one of those

rather voluptuous Jewish women just before the age of over-maturity, and obviously passionate, but

with enough experience to conceal her temperament behind a façade of Melancholy

And since the Women refuses to respond back to his advances or glances he tries to use her son as messanger to win her heart.

He didn’t have to life a finger to

decrease the distance between himself and the fair unknown, he could dream happily now as he

looked at the landscape, for he knew that a pair of hot, childish hands was building him a bridge to

her heart.

What happens after that is the Baron use of the boy’s innocense and ignorance and he uses many subtle ways in order for that bridge to reach her hear.

What happens when the boy discovares that the Baron interest in him was not genuine and what he also said to him was not true and that since he was  boy of 12 years he hated being treated like  a child and  tried to be treated like a grown up but the last two chapter was the most moving part of the novel and and it moves your heart

If i tried more the book it would b disservice o you reader of this and nothing beats the cozy and personal reading of a book and i will leave with last paragraph of the novel to convince to read it or reread it

When she drew back her hand from him, her lips left his, and her quiet figure went away, skirts

rustling, a warmth was left behind, breathing softly over his lips. And he sensed a sweet longing to

feel such soft lips many times again, and be so tenderly embraced, but this mysterious anticipation of

the secret he longed to know was already clouded by the shadows of sleep. Once again all the images

of the last few hours passed vividly through his mind, once again the book of his youth opened

enticingly. Then the child fell asleep and began to dream the deeper dream of his own life.

How childhood was pretty and how grown up life is really ugly

highly recommended  Novel

Beside the Sea by veronique Olmi

What does it mean to be a mother?

Does being able to have birth to Children means you have the right to have them?

How stable I mean ( mentally,financially) should the person be so that he could a baby?

Who determines who have the right to bring children to this world?

And if you had the child who determines you can keep your child, does the state have that right?or the social worker?

What does it mean to be so poor in developed state?

What does it mean to be single mother in today world is it? Is it really hard to raise children single handed or is it impossible

I have so many questions and questions after reading this great novel which was published by peirene press

Beside the Sea by veronique Olmi translated by Adriana Hunter

In the beginning of the novel we fallow our unnamed narrator as she escapes with her both kids from the to the sea

The city is unknown,the name of our female protagonist is unknown the town she is also headed to is also unnamed.

“ We took the bus, the last bus at the evening, so no one would see us” from the beginning of the novel we understand there is some thing wrong here why is she leaving at night why is she doesn’t want to be seen?

In the next pages we our unnamed narrator with her two small children heading toward the sea and after arriving in the town she lost her way and

“ I was almost alone with the Kids and the town became a mystery, I did know which road to to take , where to cross, what would take us away and what would bring us closer, nothing moved and the quieter it became the more out of place we felt.”

We see her strangeness to the her inability to fathom or understand things around her or people “ whenever I go out I wonder where everyone’s going , charging in every direction , tramping up and down the streets, some of them even make phone calls while they walk, how can anyone be that busy?”

In the hotel our narrator tries to sleep like humans do but it seems ti be really hard for her even the normal sleep is challenge she has to go everyplace

This is really amazing novel in many ways and it leaves with deep impressions that even after finishing it it still plays in your head

But there is also a dark side to it I mean if you have the stomach of fallowing one person journey to abyss and have the stomach to you really should read it in one go so the pleasure and pain mixes together and leave you with highest experience ever

I wanna quote and quote so many beautiful prose I have seen there and we should also thank the translator as her translation was quite amazingly beautiful

But just to convince you to discover this novel and this great publishing house

Here are some of my best quotes

“ I wanted to get back to the night before, that night without dreams or insomnia, the one that detached me from myself, I wanted to get back to that place with no threats that I’d fallen into, but I’d lost it for good”

2018 Resolutions

It is already 2018 and it seems like we  all do made promises to ourselves about what will do in this year  which sometimes does happen and sometimes not.

An since i have used both goodreads and this blog I didn’t choose still to review books here but i will try to do it 

So this will be my new year resolutions here’s related to this blog

1- i will try to review at least 50 books from all genres which my hand could reach to

2-i will try to write usually twice a week about many things related to my country

With ash on their face by Cathy otten

Survivors of seventy two separate genocides



Every evening after evening prayer I usually go to Cafeteria where we usually play Chess and gossip about politics and in going to Cafeteria I pass near Large Mosques wherein the evening they usually give religious sermons in the night.

I don’t know what stopped me that night but in one mosques they were giving sermons and subject was ethic of Slavery and how you treat your slaves more Humanly, I don’t why will some people waste their time listening to this rubbish and since listening more to that sermon made feel revulsion and disgust

Revulsion for still in 21 century there are still people believe in slaving people.

But what happens when people took their faith too seriously and obediently believe everything there and follow them blindly here comes this important book, with ash on their face by the British journalist Cathy Otten.

It fallows the Yazidi genocide in August 2014 when ISIS stormed Yazidi towns and villages in Sinjar Mountain.

“ Yazidi are a majority-Kurdish-speaking religious group living mostly in northern Iraq and numbering less than one million worldwide. They worship a single God, believe in reincarnation, and revere the peacock angel, known as Melek Tawuse, as God’s representative on earth. The peacock angel was often miscast as the devil of other religions, which resulted in the Yezidis, throughout their history, being persecuted as infidels by Muslim rulers who demanded they convert. “

In 2014 ISIS jihadist has embarked in genocidal compaign in which they tried to exterminate Yazidi people and faith from the face of earth by killing their men and enslaving their women and children.

“An estimated 6,383 Yezidis—mostly women and children—were enslaved and transported to ISIS prisons, military training camps, and the homes of fighters across eastern Syria and western Iraq, where they were raped, beaten, sold, and locked away. By mid-2016, 2,590 women and children had escaped or been smuggled out of the caliphate and 3,793 remained in captivity. 2 Around three thousand Yezidis were killed, half executed in the days following the ISIS attack, with the rest left dying on Sinjar Mountain from injuries, starvation, or dehydration. “

What happened in that month was beyond anything the Yazidis faced they were going to annihilated from the face of the earth but thanks to US air force and Kurdish fighters who saved them in last moments and also thanks to men who fought Siba Sheikheder which is the closest Yazidi town to Syria they fought ISIS for six hours with only basic guns and klashinkov but these six hours did provide cover for a lot of people to run and save their lives .

Since Yazidi faced many genocides in their life most of the women had heard and learned many lessons from their grandmothers on how to fight back and resist against their captors which include putting ash on their face and cutting their hair short so they don’t look appealing to their captors.

What happened later is tragedies that no pen can give it due and somehow I feel guilt since it is people from my faith who have been so monstrous and cruel to this people.
Honor Killing
In land where men honor is more important than women live many women usually killed themselves after the rape because of the shame but thanks to the enlightened religious leader of the yazidi have issued a decree to accept the returning women who have been slaved and forcefully converted to Islam and to not shame them.
all i can say although Humans may progress economically,politically but somehow when it comes to morals and ethics our progress is slow and can be easily turned back

Books and not reading

These days it seems i jave reading laziness.

It seems whatever i read seems meaningles to me and not unlike a few months ago i just can’t finishing them,and if i stopped reading them it hits me back and i become infected with self loathing and guilt.

I ask myself why i am feeling guilty?

Maybe the book was bad or the location was bad or maybe the font is not that clear to me but nevertheless i hope my reading life returns and i start enjoying them again

It is really hard stopping reading when you get used to it