'Nafa Walid serves as a perfect example of sacrificed youth'

Nafa Walid serves as a perfect example of sacrificed youth

Talking books with Ramzi Alexandros Habayeb, Communications Manager, Leo Burnett

What are you reading now?
I am currently reading a book in French called Pas Pleurer by Lydie Salvayre. It's an interesting account of the Spanish Civil War through the prism of a mother-daughter relationship, and satisfies my interest in both history and troubled intra-family dynamics. Old meets new, East meets West and yet despite the clichés, it's still a good page-turner.

A book that changed your life?
Emily Mann's Execution of Justice was my introduction to 20th century American playwriting. In itself, the whole setting of what became known as the 'Twinkie Defense' is fascinating for its blatant absurdity and for depicting the shortcomings of the US judicial system.

Most memorable literary character (and why)?
Nafa Walid, from Wolf Dreams by Yasmina Khadra. He's a young aspiring actor whose life takes a complete left turn after witnessing a murder. He serves as a perfect example of sacrificed youth and as a tragic figure for Algeria in some of the darkest pages of its modern history. If only his story could have a cathartic effect on the young readers of the region.

A book that you think is underrated (and why)?
Blitzed by Norman Ohler. I feel that not only is the book underrated - but also the role of substance abuse during World War II. After reading the book, I somehow felt cheated by my high-school history teacher who - unintentionally (or intentionally - withheld this pretty crucial element that would have explained why some people acted in such a crazy way between 1939 and 1945.

Your favourite book quote.
"But I was a son. Sons do not know that mothers are mortal." This quote, free translated from Albert Cohen's Le livre de ma mère, simply reminds me to appreciate the time I have with loved ones before it's too late.
- Staff reporter

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