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Noor's top reads of 2023


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Explore the team’s favourite books of 2023! Choosing three from an entire year is a challenge and more recent reads tend to obscure what you read in February. Still, there are those that stay with you through the months. Why three? Because it's more than one but less than a list...

Dive into Noor's year of reading highlights below!

The Roles We Play by Sabba Khan: A beautiful and thoughtful graphic memoir that is generous in its heart and honesty. Khan's brilliant illustrations bring to life her reflections on growing up, her family history as immigrants, muslims and Kashmiris, and how she now sees the challenges that she encountered. She is compassionate to all involved whilst also acknowledging the challenges and difficulties of generational, gendered, racial, and political differences. I waited too long to read this book, but I am so glad I have now.

Still Life with Bones by Alexa Haggerty: When I first read this book it was out of a need to understand a little better some of the most haunting aspects of human history. 'Still Life with Bones' is about mass grave excavations in Argentina and Guatemala in the present day, which shed light on the horrific human rights abuses of dictatorial periods in those countries' pasts. The knowledge of these massacres and burials is horrific, the actual act of unearthing them is both worse and yet hopeful. It is an attempt to call for justice, to remember, and to challenge the erasure of lives deemed unworthy or dissident. Haggerty is compassionate, thought-provoking, humble, and foregrounds the voices of those she works with, and the families of the victims who are unearthed. It's difficult reading but it's good.

Radius by Yasmine el-Rifae: Okay so three of us were going to choose this book and I got here first. Radius is the story of Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment in Tahrir Square during Egypt's Arab Spring and the people who made up that movement. Their aim was to safeguard and extract (mostly but not only) women who were subjected to brutal sexual assaults in the square while they were protesting for their rights and democracy. The book contains interviews with organisation members, as well as recounts some of the major events that happened. It is both highly personal, and an unflinchingly calm retelling and analysis of the challenges that the organisation faced as it tried to grow into the response that was needed to keep people safe. It's not easy reading, but it was inspiring to say the least.

Check out our online event with Noor interviewing Yasmin El-Rifae earlier this year, and our Read Think Act panel featuring Yasmin at this year's Radical Book Fair

Watch out for the rest of the team favourites, coming in the next few days on the website!

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