Alilat - A Mystical Memoir
by Fida Fadel
Alilat – A Mystical Memoir
“If the truth is to find me, I must gather my fire.”
A child—a woman child—is born of war in a land and culture where women do not own their bodies. And “out of her noble chaos, a melody arose…”
This is the account of Fida Fadel, a story which is at once poetry and the memory of a spirit that could not be broken. She speaks of cellular memory—of becoming before she was—of time that was not until she was…and of how the conditions of her birth set her life in a spiral that was unnatural to her spirit, her birth a disappointment even to herself, knowing that her gender was a betrayal.
Surviving a childhood that lacked innocence as her people maneuvered the horrors of war, the sounds of the Qana Massacre forever in her ears, child Fida recognized her “fate as a wounded healer” burdened with the gut-wrenching need to bring health to the dying, to stop the brutality that played out around her, and to question the gods that had betrayed her people.
Her name means Redemption.
“In this world, women didn’t build their own temple.” She discovered the sacredness of womanhood in her quest to survive and to love.
Raw and unedited, Fida Fadel writes a poetic account of life born of war, both physical and spiritual, as she seeks her truth and her worth. Who among us has not been brought to our best and worst selves in search of love? As she seeks and finds herself in these pages, she returns home “having already cast the veil off my soul.”
Is this an elegy for all of humankind? A lament for Lebanon? Perhaps it’s both. Certainly, it’s a memoir of one who speaks her heart.