Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good Americans

“Do you live in a tent?” was a question American kids always asked the children of Marijean Boueri , Jill Boutros, Joanne Sayad, Tatiana Sabbagh during their summers in the U.S..
This question prompted these three American ladies living in Beirut to author “Lebanon A to Z, A Middle Eastern Mosaic”, a beautifully illustrated children’s book exalting everything positive about our country.
Tatiana Sabbagh, a Russian lady married to a Lebanese, painted the portraits gracing the book from cover to cover.
The content and writing style are simple and rich in facts about archaeology, religions, geography, food, traditions, lifestyle, music and many other themes that truly capture what is great about Lebanon.

The authors wrote about very diverse subjects that portray our small country well, including chapters on “kaak” bread in which they say that the Lebanese think that “zaatar” (wild thyme) enhances the abilities of the mind, and on Gebran Khalil Gebran who was quoted by President John F. Kennedy when he said: “'Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”.
The book, a celebration of Lebanon's diversity, culture and history, is most valuable for Lebanese immigrants wishing to implant the seeds of Lebanon inside their children.
Although the title makes it sound like another guide which is not the case, the hardback should be present in every Lebanese child’s library. And in case his (or her) foreign buddies come up with ignorant clichés about his roots, he will have a most valuable tool to convince them otherwise.


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