The story of people whose lives are torn apart by war
By Katherine Saad Feghali
GLASS CEDARS, although set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War, is a novel that mirrors in many ways what is happening now worldwide—deeply divided populations exploited by powerful players.
Twenty-year-old Maya is given one hour to pack one suitcase and flee her home in war torn Beirut, leaving behind the people she loves and everything she has ever known.
As a student/refugee, she completes graduate school in Los Angeles and launches a successful career in the male-dominated aerospace industry. In spite of a good life and Maya’s introduction to
California glamor and money, she is unable to escape her past and decides to return to Lebanon.
Against the advice of almost everyone she knows—an Armenian childhood friend, a loving American boyfriend, her work colleagues, and her lively “soul-mate” from Watts—she goes home.
In Beirut, tradition is pitted against the progressive Maya. She meets a young surgeon who, like herself, has returned from the U.S. They are engrossed in their careers, each other and the belief they have a role to play in changing the trajectory of the country.
Together they navigate the horrors of war while simultaneously embracing the warm human relationships and the beauty and history of their surroundings.
This story’s characters are sophisticated, educated, cultured and break stereotypes—from Amo Mohammad instructing his daughter to take Maya to church to his wife lamenting how she’s changed from growing up with the Rabbi’s daughter—who was like a sister, to despising Jews.
Many of these people, although foreigners, could easily be next-door neighbors in America. From bomb scarred Beirut to the glitz of 1970s Los
Angeles this is the tale of people and human relationships—particular in time and place—but universal in essence and deeds.
Glass Cedars is like a mezza table intriguing and enticing—each dish a story of its own, yet part of the complex whole.
universal in essence and deeds.
Behind the Story of Glass Cedars
Kathy was born in Beirut, Lebanon and spent her youth immersed in the unique history and beauty of the country and the stresses of frequent turmoil. In 1975, during the early part of the Lebanese Civil War, she was awakened one morning and told she had one hour to pack a suitcase. She and her family fled, not knowing whether they could ever return.
Since then, she has returned numerous times, occasionally hoping to stay, but her passion always yields to pragmatism.
Kathy began her undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut but due to the war, completed her degree requirements at the University of Texas at Austin. She received a Master of Science degree in Industrial Psychology from California State University, Long Beach.
She has worked in both ergonomics and in organizational development.
She is a founder and chairperson of Education and Opportunities for Lebanon (EOL), a charity to help needy Lebanese students and schools across the country.
She lives in McLean, Virginia with her husband Charles and is the mother of four children.
“Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation.”