Come with Me from Lebanon: An American Family Odyssey

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Syracuse University Press, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 346 pages
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Ann Kerr's is a personal account of an American family during the most tumultuous years of Beirut's political strife. It begins with the tragic assassination of her husband Malcolm Kerr, one of the most respected scholars of Middle East Studies, in 1984, seventeen months after he became president of the American University of Beirut. She retraces in detail the events that brought them to the Middle East, and reaches back into her childhood to describe a lifelong affinity for Lebanon. For a young American woman caring for a family in Lebanon and Egypt, life was like nothing she had ever known, but Ann Kerr approached it with a sense of adventure, which would help her deal with the beauty, chaos, and the ultimate horror of life during the country's most volatile years of the last three decades. The personal saga of her family and the events surrounding her husband's untimely death merge with the political episodes that have shaped U.S.-Arab relations since World War II. Kerr describes with humor and grace her life within a culture that most Americans perceive as strange and hostile, but which she loved from the beginning. Her story is deeply moving, whether it describes her junior year at the American University of Beirut or raising a family in Lebanon and Egypt or experiencing a reverse culture shock when returning to the United States with her husband. Through entries from her diaries and excerpts from his letters, Kerr examines her husband's ideals and goals to promote reconciliation among the myriad factions that comprise Lebanese society. The book contains much information about Islam and the cultural diversity of Lebanon's religious groups, while supplying an essential historicalperspective of the American University of Beirut. Come with Me from Lebanon will be of interest to Middle East scholars, as well as to the general reader. Since it examines the problems women faced in a culture with different expectations about women's roles, this book will have a
 

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Come with me from Lebanon: an American family odyssey

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In 1984 Malcolm Kerr, president of the American University of Beirut (AUB) was gunned down by unknown assailants. The school, founded by American missionaries in 1862, was the intellectual hub of the ... Read full review

Contents

January 18 1984 3
18
Song of Lebanon
40
From the Regina Bar to
61
Discovering the Middle East
78
A Proposal
86
Return to the United States
101
Back to Beirut
108
Halcyon Days
121
Cairo Sojourn
175
PART FOUR The AUB Presidency 19811984
183
A Time of Decisions
185
Up to the Mountaintops
200
Hopes and Fears
219
No One Wants to Shell AUB
240
The School Year Opens
259
Dreams and Goals Still Hoped For
277

PART THREE Between California and the Middle East 19611981
137
Bonds of Closeness Around the World
139
Ulyssean Journeys
155
Home Fires
166
Epilogue
299
Bibliographic Essay
305
Index
307
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