My friend, Leila Abu-Saba has contributed an essay to an intriguing new book, Homelands: Women’s Journey Across Race, Place and Time. Leila, who I’ve met thanks to our mutual blogging about peace in the Mideast, is a Lebanese-American whose father was born Catholic in a Lebanese village and whose mother is a proper, genteel Southern lady. Leila herself is married to a Jew, which makes for an interesting set of what might be–but are not–conflicting allegiances. Leila has inherited her father’s fierce and poignant devotion to Lebanon. So she has written Heartbroken for Lebanon for this book, an apt title in the aftermath of Israel’s devastating war against that nation this past summer.
The publisher’s website features this blurb about the book:
In this lyrical collection of poignant essays, women writers explore the complexities of immigration, war, exile, and diaspora as they seek to redefine and reclaim the meaning of homeland. Whether home is an actual geographic place, a self-defined community, a cultural heritage, or a wavering memory, Homelands reveals a truth that is known by all who have wandered from their roots: “Homeland” is far more than just a physical space. In giving voice to these different experiences of home, the women in this collection conjure up nostalgia and illuminate the triumph of the human spirit.
This promises to be a wonderful book.