Captivating, compelling, informative and an amazing read is how I’d describe this memoir from Riad Saffouf and translated into English by Sam Taylor.
Using his voice as a child Saffouf deals with the topics such as Arabs v Jews, America and the Western Influences, the madness of Gaddafi, racism in France and the general treatment of women. With these topics one might think it’s a heavy read but by telling his life in graphic format is ingenious and powerful.
We get glimpse of how Libya and Syria were as Riad grew up, the stresses on his father as he tried to live the life between what was expected of him and what he was capable of. There are chilling scenes such as the treatment of the dog or how the children treat each other, even playing war between Jews and Arabs.
The cartoons are enjoyable, make you laugh whilst not taking you away from the view of life in the Arab world in the 1970’s, a world that set the stage for today’s situation.
It was thanks to Federico Andornino at Two Roads that I have read The Arab of the Future and I am so glad he brought it to my attention otherwise I’d have missed reading an important book. I will be recommending this to all our customers, a must read.
Two Roads/£18.99/ 9781473638112