• My Great Arab Melancholy – Lamia Ziadé

    My Great Arab Melancholy – Lamia Ziadé

    My Great Arab Melancholy is a beautiful, elegiac and award-winning book from Lebanese writer and illustrator Lamia Ziadé. Blending the author's years of research, personal memoir, and more than 300 illustrations, this compelling history of the modern Arab world explores the major thinkers, struggles, and turning points that have shaped the Middle East as we know it today.

    Ziadé begins in South Lebanon, "land of martyrs, ruins, and passion", before taking the reader on a journey through Beirut, Jerusalem, Cairo, and Baghdad. The book moves from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present day, tracing the Arab world's tragedies and the derailing of dreams and possibilities caused in large part by Western imperialism and the conquest of Palestine.

    Within these pages there are the blasts of explosions, blood, and tears; cemeteries, wreaths, and ribbons; martyrs and paradise. Ziadé unearths the buried memory of resistance fighters and their lost ideals. In haunting prose and unforgettable images she celebrates the progressive, bold, revolutionary moments and figures of the Arab world's recent past.

    Lamia Ziadé is a Lebanese author, illustrator and visual artist. Born in Beirut in 1968 and raised during the Lebanese Civil War, she moved to Paris at 18 to study graphic arts. She then worked as a designer for Jean Paul Gaultier, exhibited her art in numerous galleries internationally, and went on to publish several illustrated books, including My Port of Beirut, Ô nuit, ô mes yeux and Bye Bye Babylon: Beirut 1975-1979.