‘A book about lost lands, lost worlds… it leaves us nostalgic; but also full of hope’. Tim Mackintosh-Smith, author of Arabs: a 3,000 Year History of Peoples, Tribes and Empires.
‘The most striking features of this memoir are its love of family and astonishing lack of bitterness’. Xan Smiley of The Economist
‘a story of exile and loss, of longing and melancholy’. Janine di Giovanni, author of The Morning They Came for Us: Dispatches from Syria.
Black swans – unforeseen events with extreme consequences – have formed the backdrop of the Dajani family’s history for almost a century.
In From Jerusalem to a Kingdom by the Sea Adel A. Dajani, one of the first Arabs to ever go to Eton, takes us on a journey from the royal palaces of Libya where he was raised, rubbing shoulders with monarchs and presidents, to the prisons of Gaddafi where his father was a political prisoner after the deposition of the monarchy in 1969.
Dajani recounts his experiences of enshrined cultural ignorance about the Middle East and North Africa with humour and candour as he trades the playing fields of Tripoli College for those of Eton College. His journey takes us into his family history, to the Old City of Jerusalem and the orange groves of Jaffa, to the spires of Oxbridge in the 1930s and to post war London in the 1950s. We are given unique eye witness perspectives of a world in endless transition, including invaluable accounts of the Arab Spring Revolutions in Tunisia and Libya and their life-changing impact on Dajani and his young family.
Replete with vivid and memorable anecdotes, From Jerusalem to a Kingdom by the Sea is a humorous and compellingly narrated story of a generational voyage through the icebergs of international political upheavals. The reader accompanies Dajani on this voyage, buoyed by his universal themes of family, love, loss, identity and, ultimately, the triumph of the human experience in the face of adversity and displacement.