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Literary Festival--Sweet Dates in Basra
Inspired by her family’s Jewish roots in Iraq, Jiji’s tale is a poignant tribute to the lost traditions and cultural harmony of Iraq before World War II. The novel tells the story of Kathmiya, an Arab girl sent to work as a servant in the city of Basra. Kathmiya meets Shafiq, a Jewish boy who proves that religion is no barrier to friendship. When British warplanes begin bombing Iraq, the power of an unbreakable childhood bond and a transcendent love must overcome the fractures of a collapsing society.
The daughter of an Iraqi immigrant, Jessica Jiji is a speechwriter for the Secretary-General of the United Nations, where she has worked for more than a decade as a news writer covering breaking international developments. She is also the author of Diamonds Take Forever, which was acclaimed for its positive portrayal of Arabic culture, as well as three full-length screenplays, including one that was optioned by Lantern Pictures. She lives in New York City with her husband and three sons.
“Jiji’s tale of star-crossed love is a reminder of the power of the heart over the strictures of tradition.” –Ariel Sabar, author of My Father’s Paradise
“The cultural perspective and setting are a nice break from the wartime norm, as is the unexpected ending.” –Publishers Weekly
See the full line up at washingtondcjcc.org/litfest.