First Event of Alef Book club

Yesterday, we launched the first event of our new book club “Alef”.

Thirty people, from Rafid (my village) and the surrounding towns, attended. We discussed Ghassan Kanafani’s book “Um Saad” (أم سعد).

The event was definitely a great start for the club. The comments we got were all positive and very encouraging.

It was wonderful to meet all those people who read quite a lot.

I recently read about Najwa Sahmarani’s survey in Tripoli (north of Lebanon) in which when 550 students and young professionals were asked about the last time they have finished reading a book for pleasure, seventy percent answered with ‘I’ve never finished a book’ or ‘Before last year’.

This is extremely shocking but very true. At my school, you can practically count the few people that read books other than the school ones.

In Sahmarani’s survey, 44 percent said they’d read more if part of a reading club or literary community, had easier access to books.

Our hopes that “Alef” brings those who read together and encourages those who don’t.. (They don’t know what pleasures they’re missing)!

Check our Facebook page to keep up with our future activities and discussions.



Aaand bookmarks!

Photo courtesy: Abdell-Monhem Amiri

Are you a member of a book club? Have you read Kanafani’s Um Saad?




  1. Marga Demmers · September 29, 2016

    Hi Leen, What a great initiative! Book clubs are fun, not only because you can talk about a book that others have also read, but also because you pick up books that you otherwise probably would have ignored. Since two years I am a member of an English reading group. We are eight and have much fun. Every five weeks we meet at the home of one of the members and another one is leading the discussion. Next week we will be talking about ‘The Noise of Time’ by Julian Barnes. What kind of books will you be reading?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Leen · September 29, 2016

      Ah your club seems great! Plus it’s amazing to hear what other people think about the books. I’m guessing we’ll be reading novels for now. Ones that are available in both Arabic and English versions.We haven’t chosen our next book yet, recommendations?
      Thank you loads for stopping by! I’d love to hear more about your book club!


    • Leen · September 29, 2016

      Hi Marga! I’ve nominated you for the “One Lovely Blog” award. I absolutely love your blog! Check out my latest post to know more about the award and its rules. Have a nice day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marga Demmers · September 29, 2016

        Hi Leen, Of course I am very pleased that you have nominated me for this award, but I am afraid I have to disappoint you. My blog is purely a photoblog, the texts only serve to explain the circumstances or the history behind the picture. So I cannot live up to the expectations of the award, apart from the fact that I am not totally in this award thing. Therefore I would like to apologize for not accepting your nomination, although I am awfully flattered. I hope you will find another blog worth of the nomination. We will keep in touch.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Pola · September 28, 2016

    Hi! I’ve nominated you for a the One Lovely Blog Award, check out my post
    to work out how to share the lurve so that more people get to know you and the blogs you love!
    Keep doing the great stuff you do. ~ P ~

    Liked by 1 person

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