Boy & the Old Man
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Boy & the Old Man

Three Years in Somalia
 EPUB
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ISBN-13:
9781465325730
Einband:
EPUB
Seiten:
208
Autor:
Omar Eby
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
eBook Format:
EPUB
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

So who is Omar Eby? A retired English professor (tenderhearted and cynical) who looks with affection and severity upon the young man he once was in Somalia. Ebys first chapter Learning My Name quickly and playfully sets the tone for this fascinating memoir, The Boy and the Old Man. Identifying with one Omar after another, Eby skips from a Taliban terrorist and a four-star general to a translator of Somali tales and an Old Testament duke; then recalls an English student in Mogadiscio and an Epicurean Persian poet; meets a Chilean Anabaptist and finally names the close friend of Prophet Muhammad, Omar ibn al Khattab. You think this an exercise in narcissism? Of course notthe author finds too many ties linking a nave Mennonite missionary boy to Muslim society and the incredible beauty of the natural worldshows too well the tensions between documented facts and dramatic memory. On the horn of Africa, Somali pirates seize tankers. On the mainland, clans fire rockets into each others quarters of Mogadishu, once the capital of the Somali Republic. But Omar Eby remembers another Somalia, when he taught there 50 years ago. Through the grid of accumulated years, Eby studies that missionary boy. The reader hears two voices: the 23-year old boy and the 73-year old man. Often the old man loves the boy; often the boy embarrasses him. The Somalis, Eby remembers as beautiful and exasperating, then, in 1959, as now, in 2009. The chapters are like a series of transparencies laid down one on top of the other. The boys views overlaid by the mans two visits to Somalia in his thirties and then memory laid over everything. With more details, everything should be clearer. Yet, Eby writes in the Introduction, we are pleasantly surprised to find that the historically reconstructed self is still blurred, as muddy as the Shebelli River which flows through Somalia from the Ethiopian highlands.
So who is Omar Eby? A retired English professor (tenderhearted and cynical) who looks with affection and severity upon the young man he once was in Somalia. Ebys first chapter Learning My Name quickly and playfully sets the tone for this fascinating memoir, The Boy and the Old Man. Identifying with one Omar after another, Eby skips from a Taliban terrorist and a four-star general to a translator of Somali tales and an Old Testament duke; then recalls an English student in Mogadiscio and an Epicurean Persian poet; meets a Chilean Anabaptist and finally names the close friend of Prophet Muhammad, Omar ibn al Khattab. You think this an exercise in narcissism? Of course notthe author finds too many ties linking a nave Mennonite missionary boy to Muslim society and the incredible beauty of the natural worldshows too well the tensions between documented facts and dramatic memory. On the horn of Africa, Somali pirates seize tankers. On the mainland, clans fire rockets into each others quarters of Mogadishu, once the capital of the Somali Republic. But Omar Eby remembers another Somalia, when he taught there 50 years ago. Through the grid of accumulated years, Eby studies that missionary boy. The reader hears two voices: the 23-year old boy and the 73-year old man. Often the old man loves the boy; often the boy embarrasses him. The Somalis, Eby remembers as beautiful and exasperating, then, in 1959, as now, in 2009. The chapters are like a series of transparencies laid down one on top of the other. The boys views overlaid by the mans two visits to Somalia in his thirties and then memory laid over everything. With more details, everything should be clearer. Yet, Eby writes in the Introduction, we are pleasantly surprised to find that the historically reconstructed self is still blurred, as muddy as the Shebelli River which flows through Somalia from the Ethiopian highlands.