ANTHONY SHADID HOUSE OF STONE PDF

Shadid, a Lebanese American who was born and raised in Oklahoma City, takes leave from his job as a Middle East war reporter in to rebuild the abandoned and war-ravaged home of his great grandfather in the small Lebanese town of Marjayoun. Anything hurried, superficial, purely mercenary, or delusory was rejected. Central was a slowness allowing for the consideration of every choice. The state of the spirit, it is believed, reveals itself in small tasks, rituals — all the things that war interrupts.

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Shadid, a Lebanese American who was born and raised in Oklahoma City, takes leave from his job as a Middle East war reporter in to rebuild the abandoned and war-ravaged home of his great grandfather in the small Lebanese town of Marjayoun. Anything hurried, superficial, purely mercenary, or delusory was rejected.

Central was a slowness allowing for the consideration of every choice. The state of the spirit, it is believed, reveals itself in small tasks, rituals — all the things that war interrupts. Shadid, who was fluent in Arabic, was known for writing about Middle East conflicts with a humanity often absent in other U. As a Washington Post reporter, he won two Pulitzer Prizes for his articles on the effects of the war — and later the U.

While rebuilding, he uncovers the history of a family he never met. Not unjustifiably. They are naturally mercurial, passionate. The house, of course, is where all the characters converge. A faded picture of a stout model from an Arabic-language lifestyle magazine, her hairdo a decade old, was stapled to a beam. Wires dangled from the ceiling, as did light fixtures, though most bulbs were missing.

The shoe prints of a dozen different feet left their mark in what suggested a hasty exodus. Some endured with dignity, some are struggling to regain the composure they lost and others are entirely bent on self-destruction. Knowing that Shadid lost his life shortly before this book was published makes each piece of tile he polished, each plant he nurtured, feel all the more significant. It also raises the question: Who will watch the house now that this exceptional man is gone?

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Book Review — Anthony Shadid’s House of Stone: A Memoir of Home, Family, and a Lost Middle East

In his writing, he showed a depth of intellectual inquiry and a skepticism toward conventional wisdom matched by few other correspondents. The following year Shadid came to live in Marjayoun. Both sides of his family, the Shadids and the Samaras, had come from the town, and had immigrated to Oklahoma at the beginning of the 20th century. Against the advice of local friends, and in a country on the verge of renewed civil war, Shadid decided to assemble a work force and rebuild his old family home. Shadid is scarcely the first person to use the rebuilding of a house as a way of portraying a local community. Such descriptions can be shallow and patronizing, with an emphasis on quirky but likable local characters and semicomic situations. Fortunately, Shadid was too good a reporter to sentimentalize his material, and his acquaintances in Marjayoun, along with artisans he hires, are presented as generally unsympathetic personalities.

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A Mission to Restore a House and a Man

What I felt was bayt, and it led me to make a promise to myself, a commitment that I still cannot believe I honored after all these years. You see, I have not always been a man who kept his promises, and I have never been the type to stay home Excerpt from House of Stone. When Anthony Shadid revisited his ancestral village of Jedeidat Marjayoun in southern Lebanon in August , he had found bayt , Arabic for house. Yet it meant more than the four walls and red-tiled roof that he meticulously set himself to restore in a year: the bayt he found was the home he had lost with the end of his tumultuous first marriage. At the same time, the bayt he found was also the community and sense of belonging that he had never felt before, no matter where his travels took him.

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World of His Fathers

It recounts the story of his family, particularly his great-grandfathers Isber Samara and Ayyash Shadid of the Bani Ghassan, originally from Yemen via Jordan and the Hauran "Houran" in the book. It was this house that Shadid was rebuilding. He interweaves history and physical descriptions of the region, including nearby Mount Hermon and the Litani River. The book was published in , shortly after Shadid died while covering the Syrian civil war.

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House of Stone

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