Life after Baghdad
Life after Baghdad is a follow-on volume to author Sasson Somekh's highly successful Baghdad, Yesterday [Ibis Editions, Jerusalem, 2007], which told of Somekh's boyhood in the city of his birth and the circumstances under which his family decided to forsake Iraq, a land in which they were rooted for centuries, and move to Israel. The first book was highly acclaimed in the Times Literary Supplement and London Review of Books - and from the Israeli Ha'aretz, "It is hard to overstate the beauty, originality, lucidity, gentleness, wisdom and importance of Baghdad, Yesterday." This present book continues the story where the previous volume ends. Sasson Somekh, a noted student of modern Arabic culture, relates his life as a university professor and writer, taking the reader to Oxford, Princeton, and Cairo, and introducing the scholars and writers he befriended: S.D. Goitein, Mustafa Badawi, and Haim Blanc, among others. He devotes a major section to Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006), with whom he maintained a close comradeship for three decades and from whom he received the following letter: "Both our peoples knew extraordinary partnership for many years in ancient times, during the Middle Ages, and in the modern era, with...quarrels being few and far between. Unfortunately, we have documented the disputes a hundred times more than the periods of friendship and cooperation...."
Publication Date: 3/1/2012