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parsed(2013-05-21) - pubdate: 04/13
pub date: 1369112400
today: 1721797200, pubdate > today = false

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A Thousand Farewells

A Reporter's Journey From Refugee Camp To The Arab Spring

May 21, 2013 | Trade paperback
ISBN: 9780143170464
Reader Reward Price: $21.60 info
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A Thousand Farewells is the heartfelt and personal chronicle of a journalist who has devoted her career to covering one of the world's most volatile regions.

In 1976, Nahlah Ayed's family gave up a comfortable life in Winnipeg for the squalor of a Palestinian refugee camp in Amman, Jordan. The transition was jarring but it was during this unsettling period that Ayed first closely observed the people whose heritage she shared. She had to become accustomed to rudimentary housing and crowded streets, unfamiliar social customs, and the prevailing mood of loss and mourning. But it was hearing the family's stories of exile and displacement that profoundly affected her.

The family returned to Canada when Ayed was thirteen, and the Middle East and its problems receded for many years. But the First Gulf War and the events of 9/11 reignited her interest. And as an Arabic-speaking journalist, she was soon reporting from the region full time, covering its dangerous conflicts and trying to make sense of the wars and upheavals that have affected its people and sent so many of them seeking a better life elsewhere.

In A Thousand Farewells, Ayed vividly describes the myriad ways in which ordinary Arabs have coped with oppression and loss. From her own early days witnessing protests in Amman to watching the amazing Arab Spring uprisings in Egypt and Libya, Ayed offers nuanced and insightful analysis. Throughout, she focuses on the people whose lives have been so dramatically affected.

About this Author

NAHLAH AYED is an award-winning writer, broadcaster, and currently producer and host of CBC's Ideas. For two decades, Ayed worked in hot zones around the globe--from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to Russia's annexation of Crimea. Her first book, A Thousand Farewells, was a finalist for the 2012 Governor General's Literary Awards.

ISBN: 9780143170464
Format: Trade paperback
Pages: 376
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Published: 2013-05-21


"Ayed's voice is fresh in Middle East coverage. She is plain-spoken, intellectually honest." --National Post

"Powerful. . . . [A Thousand Farewells is] part memoir, part history lesson on the Arab world--and quietly, but oh so passionately, a defence of good old-fashioned journalism in a time of cost cuts and Google News. . . . Ayed brings insight to big societal issues. . . . But she is at her most persuasive recounting the stories of ordinary Arabs she meets along the way." --The Gazette (Montreal)

"In the Canadian media landscape, it's a rare journalist who views reporting as a selfless calling that subjugates ego in favour of a well-reported story. That's why Nahlah Ayed's new memoir is a refreshing take on the life of an overseas correspondent in some of the world's most volatile hot spots. . . . Ayed's all-consuming work ethic is apparent in the care and attention to detail throughout this book. . . . By no means a comprehensive overview of the region, A Thousand Farewells is nonetheless a valuable street-level view that doesn't boast of big names interviewed or famous company kept. Rather, this genuinely interesting individual dedicated to no-nonsense coverage of a difficult part of the world offers readers a good narrative that recalls an age when the substance of journalists' work took precedence over their well-coiffed personas." --Quill & Quire (starred review)

"[A Thousand Farewells is] brisk but carefully measured. . . . A compelling collection of stories and subjects, memories, and snippets of well-chosen journalistic detail." --Winnipeg Free Press

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