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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 September 2018

My favourite reads: Mina Aldroubi

My life has revolved around politics and war, so by reading I’m able to transport to another universe.

You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie. Courtesy Little, Brown
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie. Courtesy Little, Brown

Picking five favourite reads has been almost impossible. My life has revolved around politics and war, so by reading I’m able to transport to another universe. I picture myself walking alongside the characters. It’s beautiful every time – it becomes my escape.

The Gaze by Elif Shafak (1999)

My all-time favourite. I love this book, the plot, the characters – all of it. It’s an uplifting tale of love in its many forms. The book is about the love between an overweight woman and a feisty dwarf, who are tired of being stared at wherever they go and decide to reverse roles. It’s a beautiful story that explores how people’s perceptions of others are shaped at first sight.

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak (2006)

A tale of two families divided between two cities, Istanbul and Tucson, and two identities, Turkish and Armenian. The book tells a story about the struggles of living with the past and trying to survive without one. It asks what happens when personal pain is ignored and how it can shape the future. The trick is to concentrate on the characters, not the political or social elements of the book.

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (1998)

“When you really want something, the universe always conspires in your favour.” This is one of the key phrases in The Alchemist – the tale of a Spanish shepherd, Santiago, who dreams night after night that there is treasure beneath the Egyptian pyramids. During his journey, Santiago meets an alchemist who leads him toward spiritual enlightenment and self-empowerment.

Animal Farm by George Orwell (1949)

This is a classic tale of a revolution that is then tainted by the overwhelming power of corruption. It is a timeless story about a group of barnyard animals who revolt against their human master, only to then fall under a tyrant chosen by their own kind. Orwell lays out a devastating satire of the possible consequences of our social and political acts.

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie (2017)

This is a gripping memoir of the American poet and filmmaker’s relationship with his mother. A tale about love, loss and forgiveness, Alexie lays bare his complicated feelings on his mother’s life and death. Written in poems and short stories, the author portrays how grieving the loss of others can lead to self-discovery.

Mina Aldroubi is a foreign reporter at The National

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