“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.
Kaj was interviewed on Future TV recently. See the full video 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.