Fatima Sharafeddine’s YA Novel ‘Cappuccino,’ a Story of Surviving Domestic Violence

Lina and her mother help Anas and his mom through their difficulties, although   Lina also must tell   Anas about her mother’s decision to move back to Paris. Anas is also trying to be good,   so his father won’t get angry. Behind Anas’s door
Anas studies in the German school and goes to yoga classes on Fridays. Fatima Sharafeddine is a   multi-award-winning author   and translator of children books   for all ages, from babies to teens. Repressed anger, generation to generation
In his diary, Anas   wrote how wanted to kill his father. Meanwhile,   Lina’s uncle is trying to force Lina’s sister to marry his son. Her first novel for young adults,   Faten,   is about the titular village girl, whose   father arranges for her to work as a maid for a wealthy Beirut family, and the book explores the lives of servants and migrant workers in Beirut. Moreover, her stories take us one step further, to discuss some social issues that many of us are too afraid to face! What Faten’s   father doesn’t know is that this ambitious fifteen-year-old   decides to pursue her studies in secret. Yet he, too, has difficulties at home: He is always cautious before getting into the house, not sure what is happening behind the main door. Advertisements

Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditGoogleTumblrPinterestPocketLike this:Like Loading…‹ Sunday Submissions: The $2M ‘Sheikh Hamad Award for Translation’Categories: Lebanese, YA Yet once he recognized what he’d written, Anas   erased   the words and changed it to: I will scream in his face and tell him I will hit him if he hits my mother. Sharafeddine has written and translated more than   120 books for young people, and her work has been translated into   Dutch, Danish, Spanish, Catalan, French, German, English, Turkish, Swedish, and Korean. The novel is co-narrated by the voices of Anas and Lina, and both their lives unfold, chapter by chapter, in their voices. After this, she agrees   to see a lawyer at Tamkeen, who advises her that, instead of having a court case against him, she could have a restraining order for a month, during which time her husband can   work on his anger. Hend Saeed is Arabic Programming Coordinator for the Emirates LitFest. When he tells his mother, she refuses to initiate a court case against his father as he might go to prison. As Lina’s mother thinks about going back to Paris, she starts working as a volunteer with   the Tamkeen organization. She tells Anas about how life was different for her and her friends in France: how they are more productive and don’t just go to coffee shops, like her peers in Beirut. Her father passed away a few months after the family moved to Lebanon, and now Lina   lives with her mother and sister. It seems clear he’ll need more   than a month to change his behavior and more than a court order to stop his abuse. Anas   is always thinking of his mother and what might happening at home, even when he is out with his friends. At 17 years old, Lina has   limited Arabic and an identity crisis, struggles to make friends in school   and to find her way around the much different social life in   Lebanon. He does some research and finds Tamkeen, an organization that helps abused women. Yet she is sent back, as her family considers divorce shameful, and Anas’s grandmother says, “a woman leaving her husband’s home brings shame to her family.”
After that, Anas decides to take action to   help his mother. What I thought needs more information is the ending:   We hear   that Anas’s father was beaten up by his father when he was young, and that his father also abused his mother. From glimpses at his daily journal, we know how Anas feels about his father. Indeed, he does hit his father, and then is gripped by fear that he might become him. Lina’s family moved to Lebanon from Paris following   her father’s recent illness. In person, Sharafeddine   is much like her books: quite, confident, strong, and full of beautiful real-life stories. She tells him that   girls her age didn’t think of plastic surgery, as they do in Lebanon. Although Lina   finds comfort in her relationship with Anas, she still can’t   open up to him about what is happening in her home. The powerful Cappuccino   (2016, Dar al-Saqi) tells the story of Anas and Lina,   a seventeen-year-old boy and girl who meet at a yoga class and develop a close friendship. Sharafeddine is one of my favorite authors for children and young adults. He lives with his father, mother, and sister. Yet   Anas also feels responsible for his mother and wants to protect her from his abusive father. He also discovers his father was beaten up and abused by his father when he was young. Anas must take his mother to the hospital, and there he compels her to report her broken ribs to the police. As the abuse grows worse, Anas’ frustration with his father also worsens. But another violent incident changes   their lives. Hend Saeed reviews Sharafeddine’s latest,   Cappuccino, which is   not yet available in English:
By Hend Saeed
Fatima Sharafeddine has won a number of awards for her 120+ books for young people, including the Anna Lindh Regional Award (2011); Best Book at the Beirut International Book Fair (2011); two shortlistings   for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (2010, 2011) and a spot on the Anna Lindh Foundation Honor List   (2009, 2010). Last year, I attended her writing workshop and   learned much more about children books and how to create the ‘aha’ moment in stories. Sharafeddine’s   Faten   was translated into English by the author, with some help from   her daughter, as   The Servant. His mother leaves the family home and goes   to her parents. However, he is also frustrated with his mother, as she always finds excuses for his father after he beats her up, claiming   it was her mistake. As the story unfolds, we discover the crises they each face at home. Lina’s   uncle is controlling and takes   everything they own, giving   them a monthly salary on which to live. After   Lina’s dad passed away, her uncle became her   guardian, as her father had given his brother authority over his house and land in Lebanon. He loves his father, who provides for him and buys him gifts. Lina is trying to adapt to her new life, but finds herself struggling. The novel touches on identity, the obsession with appearances, and the importance of friendships, which can shelter us in a crisis. He often makes up excuses to lave them and go home. Although   family violence is central to the book, there are other issues that arise and start to unfold slowly as their relationship progresses.