Monday, December 8, 2008

About a Book - Tasting the Sky

Tasting the Sky is the childhood memoir of Ibtisam Barakat, a Palestinian woman who was three years old when the Six-Day War between Israel and Palestine broke out, and who lived out years of her young childhood in a country under military occupation. The story tells of the horrors of war and the harshness of life as a refugee, but also shows how many of the small pleasures of childhood endure even through such times and in all cultures - like the first day of school, and a love for a family pet.

Ibtisam recalls learning about Alef, the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. Learning about Alef and his fellow letters introduced Ibtisam to the power of language and stories, and how that power can set us free. In the author's own words: "I grew up in a world that ached for freedom but could not touch it. So I wrote Tasting the Sky as an exercise in freedom and as an expression of it. When I lived in Ramallah, there was the sense that anything I loved or owned could be taken away from me in an instant. In writing this book, I finally could own a piece of my childhood, which itself felt like a piece of Ramallah, in the form of story."

Tasting the Sky is a story of hope and peace, home and family, and the power of language and learning; both a celebration of Palestinian culture and life and a celebration of that which is universal. The book can be found in the juvenile biography section: J BIO BARAKAT.

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