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The hostile librarian in Beirut


An invitation from Mai Ghoussoub
Claudia Roden Writer
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I had met somebody whom I had met through a woman who had a publishing house. She was called Mai Ghoussoub, was a Lebanese and she founded Al Saqi Books with a co-founder. And her sister was in Lebanon. She was Lebanese. But she died as well sadly. And she was very young to have died. So, I wrote to them – because I got to know them very well in London – to say I'm coming. And they said, 'Oh, actually as it happens, we're having a party'. We're having a party for somebody who is a writer and is a party for the Lebanese Library... or rather the Library of Beirut is giving an award. Every year they give an award. And if I can think of the name of the awardee. Because he's very important. So, we're doing this big party and we're having musicians, we're going to have, well, food.

Claudia Roden (b. 1936) is an Egyptian-born British cookbook writer and cultural anthropologist of Sephardi/Mizrahi descent. She is best known as the author of Middle Eastern cookbooks including A Book of Middle Eastern Food, The New Book of Middle Eastern Food and The Book of Jewish Food.

Listeners: Nelly Wolman

Claudia Roden talking to her granddaughter Nelly Wolman about her life in food.

Tags: Lebanon

Duration: 1 minute, 35 seconds

Date story recorded: September 2022

Date story went live: 04 December 2023