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I Remember Beirut

by Zeinia Abirached (Writer and artist)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1326160,143 (3.72)9
Zeina Abirached, author of the award-winning graphic novel A Game for Swallows, returns with a powerful collection of wartime memories. Abirached was born in Lebanon in 1981. She grew up in Beirut as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Follow her past cars riddled with bullet holes, into taxi cabs that travel where buses refuse to go, and on outings to collect shrapnel from the sidewalk. With striking black-and-white artwork, Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.… (more)
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» See also 9 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Written like a children's book, containing snippets of daily life during the Lebanon civil war of the 70s and 80s. Most of it seemed more inconvenient than threatening. ( )
  questbird | Jan 26, 2020 |
Lovely, mostly black, pictures illustrate this quietly intense book of childhood in war-torn Beirut. I really appreciated how her vivid memories were of both casually normal routines and also of frightening or fun experiences: returning RC bottles, her brother's shrapnel collections, her haircuts... ( )
  Connie-D | Nov 10, 2016 |
In this companion to A Game for Swallows, Abirached recalls the details of daily life inside a war zone in Beirut. Stark, evocative, and poignant. ( )
  Sullywriter | May 22, 2015 |
I Remember Beirut by Zeina Abirached is a graphic novel style memoir about growing up in Beirut during the fighting between Muslims and Christians. Though her block wasn't in the contested area, it was close enough to make life difficult and sometimes dangerous.

Rather than focusing on the danger and destruction, Abirached hones in on the mundanity of childhood. She talks about hair cuts, and paper folding, and favorite songs. The scenes of her curly hair vs the overly conservative barber are hilarious.

The fighting is there too, of course. It comes in the form of memories of the ever moving bus stop, the trips to the coast to avoid the worst of the fighting, the repeatedly broken windshield on the car, and her brother's interest in collecting shrapnel.

Recommended for readers who enjoy the works of Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis, Chicken with Plums, etc.). ( )
  pussreboots | Feb 11, 2015 |
One of the challenges in American education is teaching the threats of war and its impact on daily living, especially for middle schoolers. Like ZLATA'S DIARY in past decades, which brought the Yugoslavian war into child-friendly focus with a narrator whose war memories included watching MURPHY BROWN, I REMEMBER BEIRUT takes a few moments on the daily American nightly news and replaces it with a human lens. The thick black lines of the art is reminiscent (as is the plot) of Persepolis, but the memory-based approach of I REMEMBER BEIRUT is unique. As with Natalie Goldberg's classic writing prompt, new ideas are provoked by the words, "I remember ..." The memories range from a bullet-ridden family car to a platter of cigarettes to the pleasures of unwrapping each of a Kit Kat bar's three wrappers. While these ideas might be difficult for middle-grade learners to read about and contextualize on their own, it is a welcome addition to the literary canon for use in the classroom. Cheers to Lerner for publishing this brave, difficult, and compelling piece. Highly recommended. Review based on digital galley received from publisher via NetGalley.com. (71) ( )
  activelearning | Jun 10, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Abirached, ZeiniaWriter and artistprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gauvin, EdwardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Nothing distinguishes memories from ordinary moments. Only later do they make themselves known, from their scars.
—Chris Marker
Dedication
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I remember one day my mother said ... Promise me you'll always look out for each other.
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Zeina Abirached, author of the award-winning graphic novel A Game for Swallows, returns with a powerful collection of wartime memories. Abirached was born in Lebanon in 1981. She grew up in Beirut as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. Follow her past cars riddled with bullet holes, into taxi cabs that travel where buses refuse to go, and on outings to collect shrapnel from the sidewalk. With striking black-and-white artwork, Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.

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