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Trafford Publishing, Jul 9, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 448 pages
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This testimony reveals its author’s experience with Egypt, from a unique and factual perspective, recounting warm and overwhelming moments of grief and joy; of pain and human victory. His style as a storyteller is tender but electric. It spirals far back to Egypt’s glorious days and forward to her last sixty years of struggles. It depicts vast similarities in the absurdity of human marginalization, from homeland, to school and workplace, including his own recent suffering from corporate politics. It is a beautiful, genuine, and romantic fairy tale of human survival, rich with history and spirituality. It is based on true events. “Just as a living tree loses its aging fruits to its rich soil . . . , ” says the author, “so has Egypt lost many of her jasmines but for different reasons. It lost them because of social and political insensitivity.” These jasmines had to leave their mother’s bosom because of the shifting social climate and because of their shades, passions, and roots. Overseas, they continued to flourish with their gentle scents. Beautiful things happen to them; things that revitalize the souls. But the absurdity of intolerance broke in the homeland; it broke out of proportions, between 2010 and 2012. Hope continued to prevail. In the meantime, the hero of the book, finally, reunites with his Egyptian childhood love at the age of 59, overseas.

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Jasmines from Egypt
book review
by Gehan D Sabry
Cross Cultures magazine
it is here: http://www.crosscultures.ca/special.php
and also, there is now a link on the main page, right above the vol 10 issue picture
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Jasmines from Egypt Branches Forever
Jasmines from Egypt Branches Forever, to me, is a gripping literary work charged with painful experiences of marginalization, a general sweeping social indifference to injustice that eventually culminated in the loss of highly educated, talented and experienced Egyptians to immigration, on the one hand, but also depicts the personal bullying that started since childhood, at school, work and elsewhere and its tortuous effects on one’s well-being; balanced by showing the better side of humanity is those who positively influenced the writer throughout his life.
Baladi has been a contributing author to Cross Cultures magazine over the years. His style is consistent. In Jasmines from Egypt Branches Forever he cites-out the names of his Egyptian friends (of all cultural and religious backgrounds) whose departures because of their diversity broke his heart. He then depicts each of those cultures and spirals back hundreds, even thousand of years to make his point that they had nurtured Egypt and not broken it. Each time he does that, he drives us back to a different portrait, be it Greek, Jewish, Italian, Armenian and so many more. At times his story turns into a spiritual journey about “the good ones” who, just as himself, cling to and defend justice, and refuse to stand silent or indifferent to abusers.
It took Canadian author Rafik G Baladi (theoretically) four years to deliver his nostalgic biography of his Egyptian-Greek hero Raphael in his masterpiece Jasmines from Egypt Branches Forever. Realistically, it took him forty-nine years writing his own diaries and the stories shared by other Egyptian friends of his of diverse ethnicities - Greeks, Jews, Italians and moderate mainstream Egyptians- both Christians and Muslims that made this testimony possible.
What comes within these four hundred and thirty pages of passions and roots is the author’s viewpoint through the eyes and heart of his hero, Raphael, and how he coped with life, and how until recently here in Canada, two specifically harsh work experiences almost devastated him.
The book unfolds in its second part, as Baladi makes a return trip to his homeland, where once again he witnesses a resurgence of social dissonance that broke his heart one more time. But his eloquence, powerful writing skills and flame of sentiments succeeds to iconize each act of kindness that he encounters during this most recent visit to Egypt, they were acts that outwit the cruel human mistreatment that he survived in part one of the book.
Within one week, Jasmines from Egypt Branches Forever has flown me over its gentle wings (pages) through thousands of years -back and forth- towards an exhilaratingly emotional powerful ending.
Jasmines from Egypt Branches Forever is a must read, I highly recommend it to everyone who appreciates a true and sincere, very thought provoking and human journey. Please go to www.jasminesfromegypt.com
Gehan Sabry
Editor / Publisher
Cross Cultures magazine
(since 1991)

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