Ann Kerr's is a personal account of an American family during the most tumultuous years of Beirut's political strife. It begins with the tragic assassination of her husband Malcolm Kerr, one of the most respected scholars of Middle East Studies, in 1984, seventeen months after he became president of the American University of Beirut. She retraces in detail the events that brought them to the Middle East, and reaches back into her childhood to describe a lifelong affinity for Lebanon. For a young American woman ...
Ann Kerr's is a personal account of an American family during the most tumultuous years of Beirut's political strife. It begins with the tragic assassination of her husband Malcolm Kerr, one of the most respected scholars of Middle East Studies, in 1984, seventeen months after he became president of the American University of Beirut. She retraces in detail the events that brought them to the Middle East, and reaches back into her childhood to describe a lifelong affinity for Lebanon. For a young American woman caring for a family in Lebanon and Egypt, life was like nothing she had ever known, but Ann Kerr approached it with a sense of adventure, which would help her deal with the beauty, chaos, and the ultimate horror of life during the country's most volatile years of the last three decades. The personal saga of her family and the events surrounding her husband's untimely death merge with the political episodes that have shaped U.S.-Arab relations since World War II. Kerr describes with humor and grace her life within a culture that most Americans perceive as strange and hostile, but which she loved from the beginning. Her story is deeply moving, whether it describes her junior year at the American University of Beirut or raising a family in Lebanon and Egypt or experiencing a reverse culture shock when returning to the United States with her husband. Through entries from her diaries and excerpts from his letters, Kerr examines her husband's ideals and goals to promote reconciliation among the myriad factions that comprise Lebanese society. The book contains much information about Islam and the cultural diversity of Lebanon's religious groups, while supplying an essential historical perspective of the American University of Beirut. Come with Me from Lebanon will be of interest to Middle East scholars, as well as to the general reader. Since it examines the problems women faced in a culture with different expectations about women's roles, this book will have a
Kerr's husband, Malcolm, president of American University of Beirut, was killed in his office on Jan. 18, 1984, by assassins who were never identified. This book grew out of the author's journal. She delves relatively little into politics but gives a flavor of a family's affection for Lebanon and the Arab world, as well as their own stories. In 1954, the author met her husband-to-be on her junior year abroad at the AUB; the couple spent 20 years at UCLA beginning in 1962, where they raised a family. In the late 1950s, when some saw Lebanon as a possible democratic model, Malcolm Kerr warned that it needed renewal; Lebanon was in greater turmoil in 1981 after Israeli attacks, but Kerr couldn't resist the opportunity to return to the institution and country he loved. While the author, who coordinates the Fulbright program at UCLA, might have trimmed some of her journal entries, this is a sensitively written account. Photos not seen by PW. (Nov.)
In 1984 Malcolm Kerr, president of the American University of Beirut (AUB) was gunned down by unknown assailants. The school, founded by American missionaries in 1862, was the intellectual hub of the Middle East, just as Lebanon was its cultural and financial heart. Beirut was a charming city, a marvelous blend of East and West, prosperous and modern. All that ended when the country's fragile political system, based on religious affiliation, was destroyed as invading Israelis drove masses of Palestinians into Lebanon, which became a center of terrorism, kidnappings, and massacres. Kerr first met husband Malcolm when they were both AUB students, and she details their wanderings through life together, from their marriage to their years in Lebanon and, finally, to Malcolm's murder. Primarily a family memoir, Kerr's book will give interested lay readers a bit of background on Middle East affairs. For public libraries.-Louise Leonard, Univ. of Florida Libs., Gainesville
A personal account of an American family during the years of Beirut's political strife. Kerr begins with the assassination of her husband, president of the American University of Beirut, in 1984, and retraces the events that brought them to the Middle East. She describes her studies at the university in Beirut, raising a family in Lebanon and Egypt, and the conflicting women's roles in the US and the Middle East. Of interest to Middle East and women's studies scholars, and general readers. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)