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    [Available Sept 1, 2019]

    Twenty-five paintings by Helen Zughaib accompanied by text based on favorite stories told by her father about life in Syria and Lebanon in the 1930s and during World War II.
    Helen's father was born in the Old Quarter of Damascus during Ottoman times, when Le Grande Syrie included the lands that are now demarked  as Syria and Lebanon. His father and mother, first cousins in an arranged marriage, were from the villages of Zahle and Durer Shweir in the Lebanese mountains.

    "Let me tell you a story," Helen's father used to say. What followed were absorbing tales of her father's childhood in Damascus, village life in Lebanon in the late 1930s, amusing relatives, happenings the traditions of in their local Greek Orthodox Church, and major events in her father's young life that lead him to emigrate to the United States in 1946.

    Helen Zughaib is an award-winning artist who has developed a distinctive technique working in gouache and ink. She was born in Beirut and, educated in the Middle East, Paris, and the US. She is currently based in Washington.

    Zughaib uses folkloric elements and a wide variety of other visual references to express the life and outlook of her family, the village community of her father's young adult life, and her position as an international woman with special insight and empathy for the Middle East and its people.

    Critics note the parallels between Zughaib's work as an artist with Arab roots to the art of contemporary "Native, Latin, and African American communities." (Maymanah Farhat)
    For More:
    Cultural Understanding in the Art of Helen Zughaib (by Maymanah Farhat)

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    [Available August 15, 2019]

    Mats Svensson is a photographer who took 60,000 photos in the occupied Palestinian territories over several years and winnowed them down to the 92 perceptive, nuanced, and ultimately heart-rending images in this volume.

    Svensson’s photos are accompanied by pithy and surprising commentary from a wide variety of Palestinian and Israeli figures as well as international voices from Barack Obama and George W Bush to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.

    Svensson documents Palestinian street scenes, conveying the mannerisms and customs of daily life, as did the humanist photographer Cartier Bresson. Svensson does not display the blood and gore of conflict, yet he shows its precursors and its aftermath in photos that, taken together, are as charged as the war photos of Robert Capa and David Douglas Duncan.

    Svensson shows us occupation, expropriation, arrest, and immense concrete barriers encroaching on daily life and asks us to come to our own conclusions. Americans will recognize this use of photos and words in the long tradition of politically committed photojournalists such as Walker Evans and James Agee who depicted the “dispossessed of the earth” in the American south at the depths of the Depression in their classic, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

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    [available Sept 15 2019]

    Refugees from the Middle East and Asia who have fled famine and violence and resettled in the US too often are isolated, disconnected, living in despair. Will their lives disintegrate?

    Enter a group of ordinary Americans who recognized the need, created a solution, got results—and found their own lives uplifted in the process.

    Author Patricia Martin Holt reports on Peace of Thread, a non-profit founded by Denise Smith, who lived near Atlanta and had previously learned Arabic during six years of mission work in Lebanon. Smith befriended refugee women and built on the fabric skills that many women brought with them.

    Now the women are creating handbags and accessories and selling them on ESTY and in several specialty shops. They have new confidence, feel more at home, and are finding purpose in their lives.

    Patricia Martin Holt demonstrates that good-hearted people can overcome the national climate of fear and bigotry toward refugees. It turns out that we can work for world peace simply by lending a hand to those in need—in the same cities, counties, and neighborhoods where we live.

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  • [publication date: May 2020]

    Sidney Reilly is an early British spy who became the model for Ian Fleming's 1950s fictional hero James Bond 007.

    The reality was much less glossy.

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