Love Made Visible

Jean Gibran’s Love Made Visible is the moving story of a marriage, of Boston’s South End, and the Boston Expressionist art scene that first flourished there in the 1930s and ‘40s. A teacher in the Boston public schools, she was for fifty years married to Kahlil Gibran, sculptor and artisan, and cousin of the noted poet Gibran Kahlil Gibran. She reflects lucidly on her role as spouse of a gifted artist in the decades spanning the 1950s to 2008. In retracing the course of her at times stormy marriage, she reflects on tests and joys of embracing another culture in a relationship, raising a child in the household of a working artist, and enabling her husband’s prolific work as a sculptor and craftsman. At the same time, she recalls to life forgotten, underappreciated artists of the Boston School and decades of artistic ferment that found a welcome home in the South End. Constant throughout this diary is her perseverance in the face of loss and bereavement, comforted by an enduring sense of place. Like the “mostly happy marriage” and the fiercely local and independent artistic movement to which she pays homage, Gibran’s idiosyncratic memoir confronts the costs—and reaffirms the value—of creative commitment, in art and in life.

Beginning in Tunisia and spreading across the Middle East and North Africa, everyday citizens stepped into the streets, staking their claim to a democratic future. The image of these protests captured the imagination of the world. Revolution by Love takes you inside these protests, onto those streets, and shares with you the stories of the individuals who made this historic moment possible. The book’s contributors bear witness to the bravery of Libyans who faced down troops as they secured satellite technology to share with the world what was happening in Tripoli; the courage of doctors, facing gunfire, as they treated patients in Bahrain; and the everyday struggles of families in Gaza. At each moment, within every story shared, there is also a continual return to the love shared with friends and within families–a love that served as the foundation for the protests that changed the world. Contributors include: Ahmed Abdelhakim Hachelaf, Raghda Abushahla, Muna Abbas Ali AlBuloushi, Shatha Al-Harazi, Samah Elmeri, Dala Ghandour, Mirelle Karam Halim, Shadin Hamaideh, Mohammed Masbah, Amal Matar, Salma Nazzal, Ibrahim Yousif Shebani, and Emna Ben Yedder.

Abu al-Abbas was one of Yasser Arafats top generals. His name is forever linked to an operation in 1985 that sparked an international crisis: the hijacking of an Italian cruise liner named the Achille Lauro and the death of Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly American tourist. This memoir by the wife of Abu al-Abbas recalls an era of Palestinian resistance, the hard realities of a cause that faced impossible odds, and the irony that the death of a single man should outweigh all arguments of right and wrong. Her book is a tribute to lost souls – on all side of this conflict.

Abtellatif Laabi spent eight years in a Moroccan prison for “crimes of opinion”. This poetic and lyrical memoir is a record of the comradeship he found there, but also much more. It is the writer’s contemplation on solitude itself as well as his rediscovery of passion on his unexpected return to family and friends.

Rue du Retour is about a poet’s return – to home and family, to himself, and to the eternal values of love and hope.
These human values are at the core of his moving and poignant story – the testimony of a remarkable man of conscience speaking to “those who can still hear the cry of man”.

A memoir and meditation on faith, A Muslim on the Bridge: On Being an Iraqi-Arab Muslim in the Twenty-first Century tells a story of transformation and reflection as the author thoughtfully but pointedly deconstructs the widespread misconceptions about Islam, arguably the world’s most-misunderstood major religion. The son of a Shia father and a Sunni mother, Ali was born in Baghdad in 1969. At this time in Iraq’s history, the country had a Muslim heritage but was a secular, diverse society. Neither of Ali’s parents prayed, fasted, or visited the mosque. He and his friends grew up listening to Western pop music and watching Western films. They studied at a school established by American Jesuit priests in the early twentieth century… and Saddam Hussein’s sons Uday and Qusay were among the students in that school at the time of Ali’s enrollment. The years that followed saw drastic changes in Iraq as Saddam strong-armed the country into a strict, fundamentalist application of Islam, an interpretation Ali rejects.

In 1935, the author set out to explore the wild, desert mountains, the palaces and cities of Hadramaut and travelled the Incense Route inland from the southern shores of Arabia. Along the way she encountered Sultans and Bedouin tribespeople, the harem women of Do’an and the Mansab of Meshed. This is the story of her travels. The author also wrote “Dust in the Lion’s Paw” and “The Coast of Incence”.

Amazon Review

In 1934, a 42-year-old Englishwoman named Freya Stark arrived in the British-governed Protectorate of Aden on a singular mission: to locate the fabled, long-lost city of Shabwa. The Southern Gates of Arabia is her story.Located on the high Hadramawt plateau in what is now Yemen, Shabwa was renowned in antiquity as the source of frankincense. Little visited even then, it was also thought to be a particularly forbidding place; Genesis mentions it as the “enclosure of death”, and the Roman geographer Pliny reported that it contained 60 great temples and wealth beyond measure. That was good enough for Stark, who, having not long made a difficult passage across the badlands of Iran, thrived on improbable adventures; and so, by burro and whatever mechanical conveyances she could find, she ascended the high mountains into a world that was sometimes perilous, but that also sometimes approached fairy-tale dimensions, as when, climbing the Hadramawt she writes: “The path kept high and open, until gradually the valley clefts narrowed again upon us, and shut us in walls whose luxuriant green made a romantic landscape of the kind usually only invented in pictures.”

Stark never reached Shabwa; laid low by the measles, she had to be evacuated from territory overrun in any event by warring religious factions and gangs of bandits. Though cut short, her time in the Yemeni highlands yielded this superb travel narrative, full of uncommon vistas and milieus–harems, bazaars and Bedouin camps among them). Anyone who values tales of adventure well told will find Stark’s body of work–and this book in particular–to be full of treasures. –Gregory McNamee –This text refers to the Paperbackedition.

Review

‘It’s hard to think of a writer in the travel game who most closely demonstrates the merits of Flaubert’s three rules for good writing: clarity, clarity and finally clarity. Re-reading her now, her restrained powers of description shine as brightly as they ever did, and they will continue to shine until the next Ice Age… Her books are more relevant than ever. Besides sheer enjoyment, one should read her for a fresh perspective on the intractable issues dogging Christian-Muslim relations. She was able to see both sides and what she found was similarity, not difference. The greatest woman traveller of the 20th century? I think so.’ –Sara Wheeler, The Times

‘This book recaptures all the romance, beauty and primitive atmosphere of that still unspoilt Arabia of spices … and the high-walled cities and little-known desert stretches.’ –Irish Times

‘Extraordinarily rich and authoritative … a book to treasure’ –New York Times –This text refers to the Paperback edition.

As the first British woman convert to Islam on record as having made the pilgrimage to Makkah and the visit to the Prophet’s Tomb at Madinah, Lady Evelyn Cobbold (1867-1963) cuts a unique figure in the annals of the Muslim Hajj. Lady Evelyn was in her mid-sixties when she decided to go on the Hajj. Daughter of the distinguished Scottish explorer Lord Dunmore, granddaughter of the Earl of Leicester, and great-niece of the notorious romantic Lady Jane Digby el-Mezrab, the young Evelyn Murray had spent childhood winters in North Africa. There she had been imbued with the Muslim way of life, becoming, as she puts it, ‘a little Muslim at heart’. Before and after the First World War she travelled widely in Egypt, Syria and Transjordan. While strongly drawn to the Arab world, she maintained a conventional place in society at home, marrying the wealthy John Cobbold in 1891 and devoting herself to her Suffolk house and Scottish estate, her gardens, and especially deer-stalking in the Highlands, of which she was a renowned exponent. When her husband, by then High Sheriff of Suffolk, died in 1929, Lady Evelyn decided to perform the pilgrimage. Arriving at Jiddah by steamer from Suez in February 1933, she stayed with the Philbys and entered into the life of Jiddah’s foreign community while waiting to obtain permission to perform the Haj. In doing so, she had to overcome the considerable suspicion surrounding foreign ‘converts’ who, Muslims felt, made the pilgrimage and then wrote about it as a dangerous and sensational adventure. While in Jiddah she received visits from various officials of the royal court, notably the King’s son the Amir Faysal (later King Faysal). PILGRIMAGE TO MECCA is as much an account of an interior journey of faith as a conventional travelogue. It takes the form of a day-by-day journal, interspersed with digressions on the history and merits of Islam. While awaiting permission to go to Makkah, she was allowed to travel to Madinah, of which she gives an enchanting account. She is the first English writer to give a first-hand description of the life of the women’s quarters of the households in which she stayed in Madinah, Makkah and Muna — an account remarkable for its sympathy and vividness. Her book was published in 1934 to favourable reviews but has never until now been reprinted.

Major General Patrick Cordingley commanded the 7th Armoured Brigade Group – the Desert Rats – during the Gulf War, and was awarded the DSO for his courage and leadership. In this book, he describes his experiences from first hearing of the deployment of his command, to victory and withdrawal.

About the Author

Major General Patrick Cordingley joined the army in 1965 and has seen service around the world. He commanded the Desert Rats during the Gulf War and was awarded the DSO for his leadership. –This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.