Daily Review: A Beirut Heart by Cathy Sultan
February 27, 2018
Gives the reader some idea of what life is like for those who have no choice but to live in conflict zones.
This disturbing and yet beautiful memoir, written by a courageous housewife, places us inside something we seldom think about – domestic survival during a civil war.
A Beirut Heart imposes upon the reader a haunting metaphor about how the tragic destruction of a great city can be paralleled in the psyche of even the most resilient of its inhabitants.
By William J Maierhofer
I really enjoyed this book by Cathy Sultan! I have always been confused by events in the Middle East, but this book tells the story in very human terms, and I know the author!
The Sultans and their two children lived in Beirut for many years of civil war. Despite the bombs and bullets, they also had a life with friends, relatives, entertaining and their beloved dog Foxy. This book shows the joys and frustrations, the sorrows and love which imbued their lives during these traumatic times.
By Angela Holohan
As women’s voices and stories are often unheard or silenced in conflict situations, I was excited to see this publication by Cathy Sultan. This memoir recounts her married life and experiences over 14 years in war-torn Beirut. American born Cathy marries a Lebanese doctor and moves with him and their two very young children to Beirut in 1969.
There she is welcomed by a large family circle, friends and soon falls in love with the beautiful city. However, as the Israeli/Palestinian conflict rumble on in the background and Lebanon drifts into Civil War, she realises that continuing to live there comes at a price.
This story revolves around her efforts at maintaining family life, her home and rearing two small children against the backdrop of escalating violence and bombings.
This definitely comes at a price for both her health and the family’s mental well being. She also has a fraught relationship with both her mother and mother-in-law so the story also covers the everyday conflict that families face.
Readers will make up their own minds as to the wisdom of staying in a conflict zone and putting both herself and her family at risk when, unlike others caught up in a war zone, she had the choice to return at any time to America.
I found this and other stories like Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa and Sandy Tolan’s The Lemon Tree really insightful as they give the reader some idea of what life is like for those who have no choice but to live in conflict zones.
A good read.
Please click HERE to find A Beirut Heart on Amazon.