BOOK REVIEW: The kindness of enemies by Leila Aboulela

Two narrative strands.

One contemporary and one historical.

Christianity and Islam.

Friend and Foe.

Family and Enemies.

I have taken a while to read this book because 2017 decided to come with drama, lots of work and sleepless nights. Suffice to say, I enjoyed this book because it taught me some hard truths about my life. After finishing it i saw the importance of finishing it at a pace which allowed me to reflect on the various stages of this book.

And it raises quite the important questions about our society and that is why it is so riveting.
I found myself wondering;
1. How important are names in our world…do they determine identity?
2.What the meaning of jihad is considering my knowledge on terrorism is limited to experiences in Kenya which is a hotbed for the same
3. What is the role of immigration
4. What does it mean to be a Muslim and a woman in the world today especially for those who have not been brought up in the strictness that accompanies the religion
5. How does the media, reportage and hearsay distort truth that is so desperately necessary for the masses. What is their effect on the modern view of issues such as immigration etc

The book was quite catchy in the way it put into words the various emotions that one goes through during any given day and life.

Some excerpts;

“The world is a carcass and whoever follows it is a dog”

“Don’t do what again?”
“What you believe is a sin. And don’t even talk about it. Let it go. Many things in life are out of our control but our egos insist that they are leaders. Better a sin that leaves us heartbroken, than a virtuous act that puffs us up with pride”

“Wars are never won with kindness”

“Men of bad character punish their souls”

“To get what you want you must first be patient with what you hate”

Even more is the way it addresses and sheds light on this issue in the world of the truth becoming an insult. A world in which forgiveness has become a word because no one actually follows it and when they do, you find that forgiveness and kindness in the most unlikely of places.

This is a read for a raining day and a cup of coffee… it is sweet and romantic, uplifting and poignant


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