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Habibi by Craig Thompson
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Habibi (edition 2011)

by Craig Thompson

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1,095717,592 (4.08)92
Member:davidscarter
Title:Habibi
Authors:Craig Thompson
Info:Pantheon (2011), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 672 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Habibi by Craig Thompson

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English (65)  French (2)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Dutch (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (71)
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
This book provokes a lot of thought, not only for the story itself, but for the controversies surrounding it. The interweaving and juxtaposition of stories from the Old Testament and the Qur'an were particularly interesting. The integration of Arabic calligraphy and symbols into the art made for some stunning visuals. A tip for those who read this: there is a notes section at the back of the book that translates the calligraphy. I wish I'd noticed this before I read the book so I could reference it during my reading. If you choose to read this book, I recommend looking up the various controversies surrounding this story. ( )
  EllsbethB | Apr 26, 2016 |
I was shopping for books on September 27, 2011. I was going to the cashier when I noticed a breath-taking looking book! I remember holding it close and saying “Wow” loudly, a customer beside me turned his head to look at “the-wow-book”!

I went home quickly wanting to be alone with this pretty Arabic/English book! I flipped it open and begin reading and I was instantly in love with Dodola and Zam’s story. The description of the prophets’ story was very accurate and beautiful to look at.

But because I read both Arabic and English was confused over some things going on. First, until the half of the book, I thought we were following a story in the old times, stories of harem and whatnot. But by the half we see there are cars and modern life technology! We see from the costumes, that are kind of Indian or Pakistani country, and yet they speak and talk and write Arabic and obviously are Muslims! The world he created is not contemporary to our world now.

Second, I didn’t get the whole use of the magic boxes and why we see a ط on Dodola’s back for slavery when ع is the first letter in Arabic for the word.

I’m an Arabian woman who lives in the Middle East and I never encountered anything like what I read. The world he created is not contemporary for me at least.

About men actually removing their manhood is so strange and unrealistic; I never met or knew a man who wanted their "equipment" removed.

All through the book, we see that Dodola tells Zam The Prophets stories as bedtime stories. We see that she tries to relate to them to stay strong, and to teach Zam something in their free time.

The book is beautifully breath-taking that takes the beautiful Arabian designs and stories like One Thousand and One Nights way of narrating a story to a whole new level of beautiful. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
I was shopping for books on September 27, 2011. I was going to the cashier when I noticed a breath-taking looking book! I remember holding it close and saying “Wow” loudly, a customer beside me turned his head to look at “the-wow-book”!

I went home quickly wanting to be alone with this pretty Arabic/English book! I flipped it open and begin reading and I was instantly in love with Dodola and Zam’s story. The description of the prophets’ story was very accurate and beautiful to look at.

But because I read both Arabic and English was confused over some things going on. First, until the half of the book, I thought we were following a story in the old times, stories of harem and whatnot. But by the half we see there are cars and modern life technology! We see from the costumes, that are kind of Indian or Pakistani country, and yet they speak and talk and write Arabic and obviously are Muslims! The world he created is not contemporary to our world now.

Second, I didn't get the whole use of the magic boxes and why we see a ط on Dodola’s back for slavery when ع is the first letter in Arabic for the word.

I’m an Arabian woman who lives in the Middle East and I never encountered anything like what I read. The world he created is not contemporary for me at least.

About men actually removing their manhood is so strange and unrealistic; I never met or knew a man who wanted their "equipment" removed.

All through the book, we see that Dodola tells Zam The Prophets stories as bedtime stories. We see that she tries to relate to them to stay strong, and to teach Zam something in their free time.

The book is beautifully breath-taking that takes the beautiful Arabian designs and stories like One Thousand and One Nights way of narrating a story to a whole new level of beautiful. ( )
  mrsdanaalbasha | Mar 12, 2016 |
Reviewed in Time mag
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
This graphic novel is a feast. At the heart of the books is the story of Dodola and Zam, thrown together by chance, the two young orphans learn to care for each other. Though separated by circumstances, their love pulls them back together and finally they find their love. Around this core story a tapestry of stories is woven that are at the core of all three major religions originating from the Middle East, forming the common roots that binds together people forced apart by history. They mingle themes as diverse as fantasy, history, ecology, morality and religion. And what ties it all together into a wonderful whole is the stunning artwork, reminiscent of Islamic art with elements of Arabian calligraphy and ornamentation. A work to be savored. ( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
When I had finished reading Habibi, I thought, well, it's Orientalist, it's misogynist, but damn, he learned how to write Arabic calligraphy well. ... To my surprise, I discovered from reports of people who had seen Thompson read and discuss his work, that though he had learned the basics of the alphabet, the intricate calligraphy in the book was all traced from outside sources. ... But this is simply one more example of the shallowness that undergirds the entire work: a laudable impulse to learn more, to reverse prejudice, was followed by a lazy embrace of Burton over Said, of voyeurism over empowerment, and tracing over writing. Habibi is a beautiful book and a terrible book. I am grateful for how much it has offended me. I could almost burn it.
 
And that is Habibi’s ultimate strength. All its cleverness, all its density, all its intricacy, are brought together in the service of one simple but all-too-easily-forgotten point: There is no way through this life but with each other. That is the foundation for Thompson’s interlocking patterns, its self-evidence obscured from our view like the scratched-out shapes that form a letter. Thankfully we have a writer like Thompson around to focus our gaze.
added by Serviette | editNational Post, David Berry (Sep 23, 2011)
 
Habibi, which the eye perceives as a celebration of life force, settles in the mind as a campaign of punishment. Gaze upon its beauty and despair
 
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"Sprawling across an epic landscape of deserts, harems, and modern industrial clutter, Habibi tells the tale of Dodola and Zam, refugee child slaves bound to each other by chance, by circumstance, and by the love that grows between them. We follow them as their lives unfold together and apart; as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a world (not unlike our own) fueled by fear, lust, and greed; and as they discover the extraordinary depth-- and frailty-- of their connection. At once contemporary and timeless, Habibi gives us a love story of astounding resonance: a parable about our relationship to the natural world, the cultural divide between the first and third worlds, the common heritage of Christianity and Islam, and, most potently, the magic of storytelling" -- dust jacket wrap.… (more)

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