Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands

This wonderment of a book, written by Palestinian author, Sonia Nimr; and remarkably translated by Marcia Lynx Qualey; is winner of the prestigious Etisalat Award and also the recipient of the Translation award at the Palestine Book Awards 2021. It’s a historical fantasy and literary folklore that follows the journey of the protagonist Qamar. Qamar, who is born in a village in Palestine, decides to travel the world after the death of her parents, to honour their dreams. This decision takes her on a roller coaster ride, crossing deserts and seas, to Jerusalem and Gaza, Egypt, Morocco, Tangier, Andalusia , Genoa, Abyssinia, India, Ceylon, Maldives and Eden in Yemen. From being sold off as a slave to disguising herself as a man to become one of pirates in a pirate ship, to ultimately finding the love of her life and marrying him, Qamar, has an adventure like no other. Through this, she assumes the role of a healer, utilising her knowledge of herbal medicine to heal and cure diseases. Her empathetic persona wins her friends and confidantes; while her gift of storytelling gets her out of the strangest situations. During this wondrous journey, as Qamar, battles grief, hopelessness and heartache, she remains determined and never lets her gender act as a barrier to learning, to travel and to pursue. This feminist fable is not just an exploration of the cultures and stories of the Arab world, but also an effective combination of legend and history.