Santa Claus in Baghdad: And other stories about teens in the Arab World

This post has already been read 60 times!

Author Elsa Marston has written a wonderful book about the Middle East, but not another boring political analysis of why the conflict started or who is to blame. Instead, she focuses in on the children of the Middle East under the inspiring title “Santa Claus in Bgahdad: and other stories about Teens in the Arab World.”

There are 8 stories in this compelling collection that brings the reader to the harsh realities of a very harsh part of the world. The stories reflect the experiences of Arab and Muslim children from Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestine and from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon, from where the greatest injustices continue till this day. Stories from Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan round out the poignancy of this book with the title coming from one story in Iraq, now under American military occupation and rule.

This book does more than offer compelling stories. It offers real insight into why the conflicts continue, contracts what Americans think they know and how little they really know about the causes of the conflicts from the standpoints of innocense and tragedy an perikous lives of young children clouded only by the desire for peace.

I read it and I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I hope you will read it too.

The book is published by the Indiana University Press, Bloomington and Indianapolis and can be purchased through many online and retail book stores, and from their web site at www.IUPress.Indiana.edu. Or, call 1-800-842-6796.

Marston is the author of many works of fiction and nonfiction. her books include “Women in the Middle East; Tradition and Change; the Cliffs of Cairo; and Muhammad of Mecca, Prophet of Islam.

This book needs to be in every library.

— Ray Hanania
www.RadioChicagoland.com

This post has already been read 60 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com