Where The Streets Had A Name: Randa Abdel-Fattah
I find myself often questioning the place of empathy in the modern world. Not its necessity, but its importance. Especially when I feel myself glazing over at the latest reports on the Middle East. So it is with a newly awakened sense of empathetic responsibility that I encourage everyone to read this book. Not simply because it drives home the immediacy and truth of living a displaced life but rather because in spite of these heavy subjects, it is a fantastic, funny book.
It focuses on the stilted and hilarious life of Hayatt, a teen with a mission. Her grandmother falls ill and Hayatt resolves to travel the short distance to her grandmother’s hometown of Jerusalem to help her. Even thought this is a short journey, the travel permits, curfews and restrictions threaten even the simplest of plans. Do they make it? Well, we do need a few Middle Eastern happy endings.