Yunis, Alia. 2009. The Night Counter . New York: Crown.

After 85 years, Fatima knows that she is dying because for the last 991 days she has been visited by the immortal storyteller from The Arabian Nights, Scheherazade.
Just as Scheherazade spun magical stories for 1,001 nights to save her own life, Fatima has spent each night telling Scheherazade her life stories. But with only nine days left before her death, Fatima has a few loose ends to tie up. She must find a wife for her openly gay grandson, teach Arabic (and birth control) to her 17-year-old great-granddaughter, make amends with her estranged husband, and decide which of her troublesome children should inherit her family’s home in Lebanon–a house she herself has not seen in nearly 70 years.
Fatima’s children are spread far apart and are wrapped up in their own chaotic lives seemingly disinterested in their mother and their inheritances. But as she weaves stories of her husband, children, and grandchildren, Fatima brings together a family that is both capricious and steadfast, affectionate and also smothering, connected yet terribly alone. Taken all together, they present a striking and surprising tapestry of modern Arab American life.
Shifting between America and Lebanon over the last hundred years, Alia Yunis crafts a bewitching debut novel imbued with great humanity, imagination, family drama and a touch of magic realism. Be prepared to feel utterly charmed.

Parthesius, Robert. 2010. Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters: The Development of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) Shipping Network in Asia 1595-1660 . Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.

The end of the 16th century saw Dutch expansion in Asia, as The Dutch East India Company (the VOC) was fast becoming an Asian power, both political and economic. By 1669, the VOC was the richest private company the world had ever seen. This landmark study looks at perhaps the most important tool in the Company' trading - its ships. In order to reconstruct the complete shipping activities of the VOC, the author created a unique database of the ships' movements, including frigates and other, hitherto ingored, smaller vessels. Parthesius's research into the routes and the types of ships in the service of the VOC proves that it was precisely the wide range of types and sizes of vessels that gave the Company the ability to sail - and continue its profitable trade - the year round. Furthermore, it appears that the VOC commanded at least twice the number of ships than earlier historians have ascertained. Combining the best of maritime and social history, this book will change our understanding of the commercial dynamics of the most successful economic organization of the period.

Parthesius, Robert, and Sharfman, Jonathan (edited by). 2020. Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Management on the Historic and Arabian Trade Routes. Springer.

This book brings together perspectives on maritime and underwater cultural heritage (MUCH) in selected countries around the Indian Ocean rim that are linked by the historic and Arabian maritime trade routes. It explores how selected countries have adapted maritime archaeological and UCH management methodologies rooted in western contexts to their own situations. It assesses how new heritage management burdens have been placed on states by outsiders wishing to conserve their own heritage in foreign waters. It investigates what these new pressures are and asks what the future holds for the region.

Each chapter outlines the development of MUCH in the author’s home nation, provides an overview of current frameworks and activities, and looks to the future of research and management. The chapters draw conclusions regarding what has driven the process of developing individual approaches and perspectives and what the results have been. They ask if the focus is on management or research, and if the MUCH vision is focused seaward or towards the hinterland. A common thread that binds the chapters is the adaptation of western management and practice structures to contexts where the binaries such as tangible and intangible, natural and cultural, and submerged and terrestrial become blurred. It examines how states have confronted management and research challenges on sites that are validated primarily by European expansion perspectives.


Castelli, Silvia, and Rodella, Piera Giovanna (edited by). 2021. ...Per fare notomia: il Cristo anatomico di Raffaello nella Biblioteca Marucelliana di Firenze. Firenze: Polistampa.

Il catalogo della mostra ospitata nel 2021 nelle sale della Biblioteca Marucelliana a Firenze ruota attorno a un foglio giovanile di Raffaello Sanzio di particolare importanza storica, stilistica e tematica. Si tratta di un Cristo crocifisso, probabilmente risalente ai primi anni del Cinquecento e quindi una delle più precoci testimonianze del Raffaello disegnatore. Oltre ad approfondire il percorso collezionistico del foglio, i contributi si concentrano sugli aspetti tecnici ed esecutivi del disegno e sui caratteri strutturali del supporto cartaceo. Sono inoltre riprodotti documenti coevi tra cui incunaboli, cinque centine, stampe e disegni provenienti dalle preziose raccolte della Biblioteca.

Featuring Francesco Arneodo, co-director Dhakira.

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