Title: I Remember Beirut
Author: Zeina Abirached
Translator: Edward Gauvin
Expected Publication: October 1, 2014
Publisher: Graphic Universe
Zeina Abirached grew up in Beirut in the 1980s as fighting between Christians and Muslims divided the city streets. With striking black-and-white artwork, Abirached recalls the details of ordinary life inside a war zone.
My Review:When I was browsing titles on NetGalley, I was immediately drawn to this book. It seemed so interesting, and I knew that I would learn something from it. I also loved Persepolis, so I thought that if I Remember Beirut was in any way similar to it, I would enjoy it.
Zeina Abirached uses graphic images to tell the tale of her childhood. It was a dark time then. Christians and Muslims were at war. It was a civil war that divided the city. She, her parents, and her brother are just trying to live a normal life during the war, but there are a lot of complications that they face. The school bus won’t come down her street anymore, so she, her brother, and the neighbors have to be driven to school. They don’t have running water. Their lives are anything but ordinary.
The artwork is simple, but it is stunning. I found myself staring at some of the pages just to see more about it. I wanted to know all the emotions on their faces. I wanted to see what Beirut looked like from Abirached's point of view. It did not disappoint me.
If you are a fan of Persepolis, please read this book. Like Persepolis, I Remember Beirut tells the story of a young woman growing up in a tumultuous time. Although it seems like it is aimed more towards children and teens, anyone will be able to pick up the simple book and learn from it.
I really hope that this book becomes huge. I read Persepolis in a college class, and I can see this becoming a part of college curriculum as well. This is a book that not only entertains - it teaches us about history and the human spirit.
I received this a PDF copy of this graphic novel by Zeina Abirached from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.