Sweet Dates in Basra
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Sweet Dates in Basra

3.45 (488 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"In this story of love and search for identity, Jessica Jiji succeeds fully in capturing passions, depth of feeling, and strong relationships beyond ethnic and religious differences."
--Naim Kattan, author of Farewell Babylon



Jessica Jiji's Sweet Dates in Basra is a compelling, poignant, and unforgettable tale of friendship and family, set in Iraq during the second world war. A dramatic departure from Jiji's previous novel, Diamonds Take Forever, Sweet Dates in Basra brilliantly captures the atmosphere of a volatile Middle East during the previous century and pays tribute to the lost traditions of a once-idyllic world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 347 pages
  • 132.08 x 198.12 x 27.94mm | 408.23g
  • AVON BOOKS
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0061689300
  • 9780061689307
  • 760,198

Back cover copy

Just when her family should be arranging her marriage, Kathmiya Mahmoud, a young Marsh Arab maiden, is sent from her home in Iraq's idyllic countryside to the unfamiliar city of Basra, where she must survive on her paltry earnings as a servant. Her only asset--her exquisite beauty--brings more peril than peace. Worse, her mother appears to be keeping a secret about her own mysterious past, one that could threaten Kathmiya's destiny forever.

In this lost Iraq of the 1940s, a time of rich traditions and converging worlds, Kathmiya meets Shafiq, a Jewish boy whose brotherhood with his Muslim neighbor Omar proves that religion is no barrier to friendship. But in a world where loss of honor is punishable by death, the closeness that grows between Kathmiya and Shafiq becomes dangerous as a doomed love takes root. When British warplanes begin bombing Iraq and the country's long-simmering tensions explode, the power of an unbreakable boyhood bond and a transcendent love must overcome the deepening fractures of a collapsing society.

Set during the tumultuous years surrounding the Second World War, Sweet Dates in Basra is the redemptive story of two very different cultures, and a powerful reminder that no walls can confine the human spirit.
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Review quote

"This bittersweet story, based on the life of the author's father, will resonate with readers who believe that Muslims and Jews can find common ground in the Middle East."--Library Journal
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Rating details

488 ratings
3.45 out of 5 stars
5 16% (76)
4 34% (167)
3 34% (167)
2 12% (60)
1 4% (18)
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