Posted 20 hours ago

As Long As the Lemon Trees Grow

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Joined in 2023

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The main character Salma which deserves the whole world and more, Kenan and his siblings, the powerful message this story carries, the astronomical amount of tears I shed while reading it. Seriously, I cried at almost every chapter, but it was so worth it at the end. A very satisfying end.

Zoulfa Katouh is a fantastic author, and I was a bit surprised to read that this was her debut novel. I was amazed at her ability to show and not just tell the characters’ personalities. I feel like so many fiction authors will say things like, “Sally was such a good friend and a strong person, and she was so quirky and cool,” instead of…showing Sally doing those things. salama, i love you so much it physically hurts. i look at you and i can't believe you're with me. that you're mine." Props to the author for giving us something so moving and emotional on so many levels, but at the same time, extremely HOPEFUL. Hope was the driving force of this story and the one ingredient that kept the characters moving, trying, living. Maybe that's why I didn't cry while reading this (which kind of surprised me because I cry all the time... yes, if the plot twist is good, I'll need tissues!!!). But in the end, ultimately, I hope you close this book with a newfound sense of hope. With a fire burning in your heart that 'yes, I will change the world' because this world is waiting for you. Salama, Layla, Kenan, and all the characters in this story may be fictional, but they exist in every single Syrian out there. These stories happened-- are still happening. We have once said we wouldn't allow for another Holocaust to happen, and yet, we are living through genocide every single day. Knowing their stories, their names is the first step. The second is to tell those who don't know. That's what this book is. An answer to those who are looking for one. Because no one takes to the sea, risking drowning and sharks in the water, sailing to an unknown future, if what they're leaving behind isn't something much more horrific. The main purpose of this book is to raise awareness. Awareness of a reality that happens at the same time as our reality but it's completely different, like a world apart.At the same time, the author tries to destroy the stereotypes that seem to constantly be associated with the Muslim culture: her heroines are free and brave and unafraid to express themselves and dream big while also, yes, they wear hijabs. Because guess what? Wearing a hijab doesn't stop them from being free to express themselves.

In the last six months, I have participated in more surgeries than I can count and closed more eyes than I ever thought I would. Keinginannya untuk memberikan pemahaman soal situasi di Suriah membuat Katouh mengelaborasi perjuangan penuntutan kebebasan Suriah melalui kegigihan para masyarakat Suriah yang memutuskan tinggal di Suriah. Katouh menampilkannya lewat para anak-anak dan muda-mudi yang tanpa takut tetap berjalan beringan membawa bendera Suriah sambil meneriakkan kalimat pembebasan negerinya. Whatever happens tomorrow, we’ll be okay. Even if…” He takes in a deep breath and presses his forehead against mine. “Know that even in death, you’re my life.” The Syrian revolution began in 2011 with an uprising against the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In 2011 I was aware of what was going on. I had an idea of what was happening. We all had an “idea” what was taking place in Syria at this time. But like most people thinking about it too long made that “idea” uncomfortable. I knew it was heartbreaking and I knew I was upset about it. There was so much happening in the world at that time that most of us were becoming desensitized toward everything..

It has the power to spark rebellions, to conquer cities, to break free of the chains that hold you. Kengerian yang dibangun oleh Katouh pun makin tereskalasi lewat caranya yang selalu berusaha menyampaikan detail pergolakan emosi Salama melakukan operasi darurat. Ketakutan dan rasa bersalah selalu jadi emosi paling dominan yang Salama rasakan. Ia takut tangannya tak cukup cakap menyelamatkan nyawa seseorang apalagi ia adalah mahasiswa farmasi yang sebenarnya tak punya latar belakang kedokteran. Dalam keadaannya ini, Salama tak sengaja bertemu dengan Kenan. Laki-laki dengan tubuh kurus dan mata hijau terang yang berjuang mengabadikan momen-momen serangan militer pemerintah Ba’athist Bashar al-Assad untuk ia perlihatkan pada dunia. Keduanya dengan cepat membangun hubungan yang kuat di tengah-tengah reruntuhan yang ditinggalkan oleh pengeboman dan serangan udara. Hubungan yang melambangkan kemungkinan adanya harapan di Suriah yang baru.

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