May 8, 2018
“Sahlab”, Ziad Kaj’s latest Arabic novel is now published in collaboration with Embrace, a non-profit organization (NGO) which works to raise awareness around mental health in Lebanon and the Middle East. Embrace was launched as an affiliation with the Department of Psychiatry at the American University of Beirut Medical Center (AUBMC) back in 2013.
The book signing event for “Sahlab” is planned for Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 6:00pm in Café Younes, Sodeco Square.
Kaj is currently a University Libraries staff member at AUB and has been a part of the AUB family for over 30 years.
The book is about an ambitious young man, who suddenly suffers from severe depression, which turns his life and the world around him “up-side-down”. It reflects upon the journey of going back to what is considered “normal”, and to rejoining social life as we know it. Work at AUBMC proves very challenging in the first few years for this young man, and finally, after 27 years of struggle and patience, he finds himself at peace with life and with society.
Kaj describes his novel as “a true story of building oneself from the ruins of oneself “and adds that “the main message is that a sane mind is the most precious gift one can have. What matters most in life is family, a few true friends, and a meaningful hobby that colors one’s life.” Kaj says that, although he loves to write, he considers writing as his last priority when compared to the other aspects of his life.
Watch a short video about the book launch here.
The design of the book’s cover is based on a photo taken by Youssef Doughan, another University Library staff member and a skilled photographer.
In addition to this book, Kaj has published 6 other books, all by Dar Nelson: “Ras Beirut: Sunduk fi Bahr, Narr ala Tallah“ (novel), “Kana ‘alayk an taqlub al-sullum” (poetry), “Amirka uhibuki, ana la uhibuki “(poetry), “Awlad al-natur al-sabiq” (novel), “Al-hayah kama quddimat lahum” (novel), “Layali dayr al- qamar” (novel).
Kaj is also a skillful painter and enjoys the arts. He held his first painting exhibit, along with a book signing event 2 years ago.
About Ziad Kaj
Ziad Kaj was born on April 28, 1964 in Ras Beirut. He graduated from the National Protestant College in 1983. He majored in Mass Communication at the Lebanese University and then studied English Literature at the Beirut Arab University. In addition to his books and paintings, over the years, Kaj has published articles in several media outlets such as: Voice of Arab Lebanon, Voice of the People and Monday Morning (English weekly). He is currently a University Libraries staff member at AUB and has been a part of the AUB family for over 30 years. To contact the author or know more about him, visit his facebook page.