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Badawi by Mohed Altrad
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Badawi (edition 2011)

by Mohed Altrad (Author)

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1311,229,196 (3.5)2
Follows the course of the life of a Syrian orphan boy named Ma?iouf whose struggles to attain an education lead him to France and Abu Dhabi, where even his great success can't keep him from being drawn back to the life he thought forgotten.
Member:Rivaton
Title:Badawi
Authors:Mohed Altrad (Author)
Info:Actes Sud (2011), Edition: ACTES SUD
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Badawi: A Novel by Mohed Altrad

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This novel is sweetly told in a way that reminded me strongly of the children's books [b:...And Now Miguel|1116594|...And Now Miguel|Joseph Krumgold|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347555329s/1116594.jpg|166140] and [b:Esperanza Rising|89763|Esperanza Rising|Pam Muñoz Ryan|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1328869043s/89763.jpg|1510338] and even [b:Anne of Green Gables|8127|Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)|L.M. Montgomery|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1390789015s/8127.jpg|3464264] although the protagonist is not as overtly plucky or talkative as Anne by any means.

Here, in short, is the story of Badawi: He is an orphan, he is wretchedly poor, and he overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to achieve seemingly impossible goals.

It's a familiar story. The action is presented in a straightforward manner. The story moves forward without a hint of novelistic flourish or digression. I would not think the novel very interesting or new except that it tracks completely with the author's own life and childhood challenges. Altrad himself was an orphaned Bedouin who was expected to become nothing more than a nomadic shepherd. Instead he became a billionaire businessman with a net worth that Forbes estimates at around $2 billion. These facts about the author's life changed the read for me completely. The over-simplicity of the prose, when judging the book as fiction, became instead, when considered autobiographically, a thoughtful restraint, a humility in this author about his own achievements.

I hope to see Altrad's biography soon, written by a writer who can reveal just how Altrad did it. In the case of this small novel it's enough to know that somehow this fantastic story really happened. ( )
  poingu | Feb 22, 2020 |
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Follows the course of the life of a Syrian orphan boy named Ma?iouf whose struggles to attain an education lead him to France and Abu Dhabi, where even his great success can't keep him from being drawn back to the life he thought forgotten.

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