Title: Tea with Arwa
Author: Arwa El Masri
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Australian Author
The Blurb: Arwa El Masri is a child of many countries. She was born in Saudi Arabia, lived in America for a time, and yet, as the daughter of Palestinian migrants, Arwa did not have a country that she could call home. Her parents came to Australia to give all their daughters the greatest gift they could, somewhere they could belong. It took a teenage Arwa time to find her way in her new country and to reconcile her Muslim faith with her life as a young woman in western Sydney. But slowly Australia got under her skin …and into her heart. She lost her accent and stopped being startled when kookaburras laughed. She met her future husband, Hazem El Masri, in the most unlikely way. But he was not who she thought she should marry. Getting to know him made Arwa look at her own prejudice, reassess what was important to her and how she wanted to live her life. Her grandmother’s wisdom helped guide her. When she was twenty-three and newly married, this Aussie girl who loved John Farnham and Vegemite decided it was time for her to wear the veil. The first time she went out in public with it on she was shocked. Many assumed she did not speak English or that her husband had told her what to wear. Both were incorrect. Through telling her story, Arwa shows the importance of belonging for everyone and how alike we all are. Regardless of faith, we are all looking for the same things: safety, love, and a sense of home.
My Thoughts: TEA WITH ARWA is exactly as the title describes – it is if you had sat down to share a cuppa with Arwa and gradually through chit chat get to know her. It was almost as if I were there sharing the conversation – she would mention her family eating some dish and when I expressed a curiosity she would share the recipe with me – put two women together and this happens. Once I was relaxed with her I may get personal with her – ask her questions about her faith – and she tells me about her faith – not the Muslim belief of the terrorists – but the real Koran based one. She tells me about her husband, her family and why she is proud to wear a veil. A lovely gentle read – pour a cup of tea and sit down and share some time with Arwa.
Rating: C – very readable and enjoyable
More about the Author – Click Here (She doesn’t have a web page so this is a TV interview she did)