Dreams in the Medina

Rated 4.50/5 based on 2 reviews
From the heart of Syria, Dreams in the Medina is a coming-of-age tale which explores the aspirations, passions and tragedies of a group of young Syrian women, who on the surface seem to have nothing in common but who are brought together in the deepest of bonds as they study and live together at the University of Damascus. More

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Words: 119,030
Language: English
ISBN: 9781301094967
About Kati Woronka

My friends generally describe me as adventurous (read: crazy), smart (read: nerd) and unique (read: odd). They kindly say I offer a fresh perspective on things. Here are some reasons why:

I am a world traveller. I believe it is possible to travel too much and I have done it. I’ve only just surpassed 40 countries visited. To many people, 40 is a lot, but I have a friend who has recently celebrated 100. Many of my friends travel more than me, but maybe I’ve lived in more places. Some of the places I’ve called home include: Kosovo, Egypt, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Sudan, Timor Leste, USA and Brazil.

I am an academic. When studying for my PhD in Sociology, I felt alive. I read theories and developed theories of my own. I analysed everything. I loved evenings at the pub when my friends and I would discuss existential issues such as “implications for society of drinking tea with demerara sugar”. Though I was never academic enough to do what some of my colleagues did – like curl up at night with a glass of wine and Karl Marx – I do analyse everything and anyone around me.

I am Christian. Culturally, I’ve always been Christian. Everyone in my extended family is somehow connected to a church, and I wear a cross that was given to me by my grandmother. I also participate in church communities when I can. As for my faith, I love Jesus and believe that Jesus loves me and that is probably the most important fact about me. Many of my best friends do not share my beliefs and I am grateful for so many different types of friends.

I am an introvert who loves people. All this exploring and churchgoing and studying has provided me with a wonderful array of friends. I love them each and am grateful for them all, and I wish there were a village where we can all live together instead of scattered around the globe. Even so, I love spending time alone and spending quality time with a few friends instead of working the room at a huge bash. I’m the person at the party who is sitting in a corner watching everyone.

I am a storyteller.

Reviews

Review by: Lisa Burgess on Jan. 31, 2013 :
This is fiction that pulls you into reality. Because sometimes it takes a story to make you care.

This novel shows the intersecting lives of college-age women enrolled in the University of Damascus. There are Muslims, Christians, English literature majors, lawyers-to-be. No two characters are the same, thus demolishing our stereotype of the "typical Middle Eastern woman."

As the story progresses, we are effortlessly educated on the geography of Syria, the diversity of religious practices, even food choices and lifestyles.

But it's the people in the story that keep us reading. While differences between them and the stereotypical American may seem great on the outside, the inside struggles and passions are similar across the globe--love, happiness, traditions, God, family.

So I recommend this novel on several levels--for the interesting fiction story that will keep you turning page after page (or digitally clicking), but also for the way it pulls you into caring more about real people in other countries.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)

Review by: Larry Kraft on Dec. 03, 2012 :
This is a unique story that is very relevant to today. Most people in the West have no idea of what life is everyday like for young people in Syria, or I should say what life was like before the revolution. This story helps us understand the heart behind the people for whom we are or should be concerned these days. Very engaging and enjoyable read as well.
(reviewed long after purchase)

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