Cultivating patriotism

I am reading various books with dramatic stories of immigrants and refugees to Canada – stories of persons who have fled civil war, genocide, and terrorism. While many details in these books are heart-wrenching, shocking, and extreme, what I find interesting is what is actually most moving because the things that move me most are not so much the intense episodes but rather the tender ones. Continue reading “Cultivating patriotism”

“I Shall Not Hate” by Izzeldin Abuelaish

Despite my increasing passion for and interest in the Middle East, I’ve actually never taken a formal class on Middle Eastern politics, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or Arab history. And so, I haven’t read through the standard reading lists for such courses of study, but have mainly been learning anecdotally and through time here and there in the region. Continue reading ““I Shall Not Hate” by Izzeldin Abuelaish”

“For Every Sin” by Aharon Appelfeld

Today I finished reading a novel by Aharon Appelfeld titled For Every Sin.

In it, the protagonist, Theo, is a young adult who has survived the Holocaust and is trying to walk all the way back to his hometown. En route, he continually encounters “refugees” – other Jews like him who have survived the camps but for whom he has disdain and with whom he doesn’t think he has much in common. Continue reading ““For Every Sin” by Aharon Appelfeld”