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Can we share book recommendations?
In General Discussion
Kathy Kennedy
Mar 29, 2021
We have an author among us - Anita Samiani-Shanley of the Oxgangs Cheyne Gang group who, after many years of dedication and extensive research has published her book: Ancestral Journeys: 19th and 20th Century Encounters with Religious Missions in the Middle East. The beautiful poem in the Forward written by Mahmoud Darwish "We Travel Like Other People" leads us into the story of two families , the As'ads from Northern Syria and the Somervilles whose ancestors arrived from Scotland to live and work in Lebanon; of a marriage between the two eldest members of each family and the start of a long, challenging journey for both families in Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine. Anita shared much of their life and added her own experiences to their records about the political, educational events in the countries where they lived and worked. From the memoirs of James Somerville, Anita's own mother Alice As'ad Damiani ( who had worked for the United Nations Relief Agency ) gave her time and energy unravelling Somerville's script. Her granddaughters urged her and her sister to also record family memories. And in Anita's own words: " As all these narratives arrived at my home in Edinburgh, I felt it was my duty to have these accounts see the light of day. " This family saga is also an historical one - laced with fascinating photographs throughout - some including Anita herself - and is a call to human rights in the Palestinian nation. Anita's book can be ordered through Hadeel, 123 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4JN. 0131 225 1922

Kathy Kennedy

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