The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah by Adam Valen Levinson
Fear and Love in the Modern Middle East

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 1 Critic Review

After reading the book, I did feel just a bit more optimistic about the chances of peaceful coexistence between East and West. One of Levinson’s themes is exactly what you’d expect in a book about a wildly foreign culture...
-NY Times

Synopsis

Chronically questioning, funny, and bold, a young American explores the majority-Muslim lands that scare him most.

Armed only with college Arabic and restless curiosity, Adam Valen Levinson sets out to “learn about the world 9/11 made us fear.” From a base in globalized and sterilized Abu Dhabi, he sets out to lunch in Taliban territory in Afghanistan, travels under the watchful eye of Syria’s secret police, risks shipwreck en route to Somalia, investigates Yazidi beliefs in a sacred cave, cliff dives in Oman, celebrates New Year’s Eve in Tahrir Square, and, at every turn, discovers a place that matches not at all with its reputation.

Valen Levinson crosses borders with wisecracking humor, erudition, and humanity, seeking common ground with “bros” everywhere, and finding that people who pray differently often laugh the same. And as a young man bar mitzvahed eight years late, he slowly learns how childish it is to live by decisions and distinctions born of fear.

20 illustrations
 

About Adam Valen Levinson

See more books from this Author
 
Published November 14, 2017 by W. W. Norton & Company. 348 pages
Genres: Travel, Action & Adventure, History. Non-fiction
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Above average
Reviewed by A.J. JACOBS on Dec 22 2017

After reading the book, I did feel just a bit more optimistic about the chances of peaceful coexistence between East and West. One of Levinson’s themes is exactly what you’d expect in a book about a wildly foreign culture...

Read Full Review of The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah: Fe... | See more reviews from NY Times

Rate this book!

Add Review
×