Ya bahiyyat al-masakin: Mornings in Jenin

Mornings in Jenin by Yasmina El Hilali Do you know, Mother, that Haj Salem was buried alive in his home? Does he tell you stories in heaven now? I wish I had had a chance to meet him. To see his toothless grin and touch his leathery skin. To beg him, as you did in your youth, for a story from our Palestine. He was over one hundred years old, Mother. To have lived so long, only to be crushed to death by a bulldozer. Is this what it means to be Palestinian? Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa has been on … Continue reading Ya bahiyyat al-masakin: Mornings in Jenin

Letters to a Young Muslim

Letters to a Young Muslim by Yasmina El Hilali How do you juggle two identities? How do you combine East and West? Do you dare ask what they have in common? Letters to a Young Muslim immediately caught my eye in the local bookstore. Its cover is a bright blue with intricate patterns of silver and gold and I couldn’t help but pick it up. I identify as (relatively) young and Muslim and I was curious what this book was all about.  Was it perhaps addressed to me? Letters to a Young Muslim is a compilation of honest letters of a father … Continue reading Letters to a Young Muslim

Bookstore magic: De Nieuwe Boekhandel

De Nieuwe Boekhandel By Mojdeh Feili & Yasmina El Hilali We have our little routines. Whenever we meet, we usually decide for endless conversation over a cup of coffee or tea at our local coffee franchise Bagels & Beans. However, our meetups are never complete if we do not end our day with a visit to our favorite bookstore that is just down the street: De Nieuwe Boekhandel. As a kid, libraries were my favorite place to play hide and seek: this usually meant I disappeared between the racks of books and left my mother searching for me. When the … Continue reading Bookstore magic: De Nieuwe Boekhandel