Suad Aldarra, a Syrian/Irish data scientist and author of I Don’t Want to Talk About Home, selects from her library some of her favourite and formative reads…
By George Orwell (1949)
I was late to read this book but it’s never too late. It still shocks me how much resemblance there is between Orwell’s imaginary world and Syria.
• Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley
By Emily Chang (2018)
Everything that went wrong when designing the tech world and how it quickly became a boys club and a daily struggle for women to fit in.
• Goodbye to All That: Writers on Loving and Leaving New York
Edited By Sari Botton (2013)
I was prepared to dislike New York before I first visited. I never thought I would be enchanted by the multi-layered city. This collection of stories made it less heartbreaking to say goodbye after living there, on and off, for two years.
• Notes to Self
By Emilie Pine (2013)
The most strikingly honest personal feminist essays I’ve read.
• Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline
Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen, Nawara Mahfoud (2014)
Close to my heart. An open museum of art, poems and essays influenced by the Syrian War.
• Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening
By Manal Al-Sharif (2017)
A powerful and inspiring memoir from the first woman who dared to drive in Saudi Arabia.
• Lessons in Chemistry
By Bonnie Garmus (2022)
I can’t remember the last time I inhaled a novel like I did this one. Bonnie Garmus brilliantly unfolds the female struggle back in the 1960s, which, sadly, can still be reflected today.
by Deborah Feldman (2012)
Coming from an Arab Muslim background, I was surprised to learn how much we have in common with ultra-orthodox Jews. A very critical and authentic read.
• Exit West
By Mohsin Hamed (2017)
A symbolic love story in a place where migrants/refugees can move from one country to the other.