Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who is Wangari Maathai and why did she win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004?

Read our next book written by 2004 Nobel Peace Price winner from Kenya, Wangari Maathai, who wrote her memoir "Unbowed" about her life and the starting of the Green Belt movement.

Here's a summary of the book:
Born in 1940, Matthai attended primary school at a time when Kenyan girls were not educated; went on to earn a Ph.D. and became head of the Department of Veterinary Anatomy at the University of Nairobi before founding Kenya's Green Belt Movement in 1977, which mobilized thousands of women to plant trees in an effort to restore the country's indigenous forests.

Because Kenya's environmental degradation was largely due to the policies of a corrupt government, she then made the Green Belt Movement part of a broader campaign for democracy. Maathai endured personal attacks by the ruling powers-President Moi denounced her as a "wayward" woman-and engaged in political activities that landed her in jail several times. This memoir (after The Green Belt Movement) documents the remarkable achievements of an influential environmentalist and activist.

Come and join us on our book club discussion on Sunday November 2nd at 2pm in the North Beach district at Cafe Greco (423 Columbus Avenue).

November 2nd is daylight savings day so please take this into account when coming to the book club.

Did his second book come close to his unforgettabe first book?

YES! We all agreed that A thousand Splendid Suns was just as intense but had a distinctive voice from The Kite Runner.

We were all eager to discuss the characters of Mariam and Laila and their relationship to each other. We saw how environments influence one's personality and motivation for living. And even though disastrous situations happened quite frequently in the book, we could appreciate the rare moments of love and loyalty that would arise subtlety throughout the book.

Such a page turner! It was interesting to also follow the stages of Afghanistan in its times from the Soviet occupation in Afghanistan to civil war to post 9/11. Hosseini gaves us a glimpse of how life in Afghanistan has been for many women, whose suffering is invisible and silent.