Growing up in the US in shadow of her famous father Edward Said, Najla was exposed to a wide variety of cultures, people and attitudes than many of us can imagine. Traveling to Lebanon to see her Mom's family remains the sweetest memory for her despite the violence that took hold there after bouts of peaceful times. Having grown up as a WASP (in her own words) for all intents and purposes yet not quite fitting in anywhere, it took Najla many years and therapists to carve out an identity of her own, to be comfortable in her own skin. Reared as a girl in the traditional family setup and not being expected to carry the weight of her genius father's legacy, added to the confusion in the formative years. Her book tells us how articulate and intrinsically smart she is. Despite the fog in carving out an identity, she is surrounded by friends who love to be in her company and she knew that she was loved by her well meaning parents. This Princeton graduate's understanding nature helps her to see all sides of everything that in turn makes her a very empathetic person. She has proven to be every bit her father's daughter through this lovingly written, articulate and evocative memoir.
On the home front we were busy landscaping our backyard with the help of a contractor and it is almost done. Since adding a room to our humble abode seemed to be an uphill task in terms of money, convenience, and time, we decided to at least have a relaxing backyard with some space to entertain. Backyard landscaping thankfully is not as disruptive as a kitchen remodeling I say! Now we are waiting for summer to roll around so we can start using it more. Here is Mr. Zeus inspecting our brand new pond. Oh and hurray for my hundredth post in Vaayanasaala!