I am honoured to be part of the WOW! Women of Writing Blog Tour for Albert Nasib Badre’s moving memoir “Looking West”, which I read and am now reviewing.
(Please note: I received an advance copy to read and review.)
At age 14, Nasib Badre began a new life in America, leaving behind his life in Beirut, Lebanon. Badre writes in great detail about his daily life in Beirut, describing his large family get-togethers, school, home and shopping. It is quite a different life to what he finds in America.
Badre must adjust to a new language and new experiences, first in Albany, N.Y, and then Iowa. Not only did Badre have to adjust to new customs, new people, new places, he had to adjust to a new name. People had difficulty saying Nasib, so his mother added Albert to his name when they arrived in the U.S.
Badre shares his hardships and his triumphs as he masters English, makes friends, learns new skills, attends college and becomes successful.
It is a candid look at the differing lifestyles of Lebanon and the U.S. and the challenges immigrants face when arriving in a new land.
I di not know there was such a clash between the Protestant and Catholic faiths in Lebanon. I appreciated learning about the history of Lebanon and the religious struggle there.
I enjoyed this memoir very much and learned a great deal. It is definitely a book to read – especially in this time when immigrants face such terrible challenges now.
Nasib faced down great challenges to become a successful American citizen and in the process, made his dreams come true.
One quote from the book is a stark reminder of how we should be treating everyone:
“If we help the poorest and more disadvantaged move forward and improve their quality of life, then our entire society will be elevated as well.”
About the Book
In 1960, the Badre family emigrates from Beirut, Lebanon to the United States, a dream come true for fourteen-year-old Nasib.
Nasib struggles to assimilate as a teen in Albany, New York. With limited English skills, he attempts to learn new customs, make friends, and adapt to a different culture. In Beirut, the Badre family was well-known and socially privileged. In America, they are unknown nobodies. Nasib adopts his father’s name “Albert,” and to further Americanize his name, young Albert becomes “Al.”
Despite the many frustrations and difficulties, Al’s ultimate goal is to become a successful American. The new anonymity actually inspires the young man. Excited by the opportunities available to him in his new country, he determines to make a potent contribution to society.
As he strives to adapt, Al reads voraciously, becoming increasingly interested in religion and philosophy. Books become his “American friends,” and reading soon prompts him to ask deep theological questions about his family’s Lebanese Protestant roots, his mother’s conversion to Catholicism, and the contrast between the Protestant and Catholic faiths. This ultimately leads to his Catholic conversion.
Al’s search for meaning in life leads him to social activism among New York City’s poorest. And, in time, to graduate studies, where his desire is to improve the human condition through information technology.
Al Badre– like many other American immigrants–works his way through hardship to achieve a meaningful place in his adopted nation.
- Paperback: 267 pages
- Publisher: WidO Publishing
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07N6LR52T
- ISBN: 9781947966130
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/Looking-West-Journey-Lebanese-American-Immigrant-ebook/dp/B07N6LR52T/?tag=wowwomenonwri-20
About the Author:
Albert Nasib Badre is an American author born in Beirut Lebanon. He immigrated to the United States with his family in 1960 at the age of fourteen. His family made Albany, N.Y. their first home in America where he attended a private Catholic high school through his Junior year. After three years in Albany, the family moved to Iowa City, Iowa, when his father accepted a professor position at the University of Iowa. He finished his senior year at Iowa City High School, then went on to the University of Iowa where he got a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies. After college, he spent a year as a social worker in New York City. Deciding social work was not for him, he went on to pursue graduate studies at the University of Michigan where he got his Ph.D. in 1973.
He spent the next thirty years at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and today he’s Professor Emeritus of Computing. During his tenure at Georgia Tech, he was an international consultant specializing in designing technology to enhance the human experience. Dr. Badre was an early pioneer in the field of human-centric design, with some thirty years of experience in human-computer interaction, learning technologies, and human-centric e-learning. His background combines expertise in the empirical methodologies of the behavioral sciences and the design approaches of the computing sciences.
Dr. Badre authored numerous technical papers, is co-editor of the book Directions in Human Computer Interaction, and the author of the book, Shaping Web Usability: Interaction Design in Context, which was adopted in several dozen courses worldwide. His memoirs, Looking West, is the story of his coming of age immigration to America and subsequent conversion to the Catholic Church.
Today, Dr. Badre and his wife live in Providence, R.I., near his son and family, where he leads a very active volunteer life, in service to the community.
Find Albert Online:
———-Blog Tour Dates
Launch Day – April 8th
Albert Nasib Badre launches his tour of “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” with an interview and giveaway at the Muffin!
April 11th @ World of My Imagination with Nicole Pyles
Nicole Pyles shares her review of “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” with readers at World of My Imagination. Don’t miss a chance to learn more about this heroic memoir.
April 12th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto
Crystal Otto shares a 5 star review or the touching and empowering memoir “Looking West” by Albert Nasib Badre.
April 15th @ Selling Books with Cathy Stucker
Cathy Stucker interview Albert Nasib Badre about his empowering memoir “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant”. Readers at Selling Books are looking forward to learning more about this touching journey.
April 16th @ To Write or Not to Write with Sreevarsha Sreejith
Sreevarsha Sreejith reviews “Looking West” by Albert Nasib Badre. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Sreevarsha and visit To Write or Not to Write.
April 16th @ Lisa Haselton Reviews and Interview
Don’t miss today’s empowering and honest interview between Lisa Haselton and Albert Nasib Badre – you will want to learn more about “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” in this touching memoir.
April 17th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Well known book reviewer and fellow memoirist Linda Appleman Shapiro reviews “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre.
April 19th @ Memoir Revolution with Jerry Waxler
Jerry Waxler thoroughly enjoyed reader “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre and shares his thoughts with readers at Memoir Revolution. Don’t miss this insightful review of Badre’s touching memoir.
April 22nd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina delights readers at his blog as he reviews the moving memoir “Looking West” by Albert Nasib Badre.
April 23rd @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird reviews the memoir “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre.
April 26th @ Breakeven Books
Today’s author spotlight at Breakeven Books is none other than memoirist and immigrant Albert Nasib Badre with his touching story “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant”. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about this inspirational coming of age memoir.
April 30th @ Choices by Madeline Sharples
Today’s guest post titled “The Backstory: Letters, Photos, and Conversations” is penned by Albert Nasib Badre. Don’t miss this great post and opportunity to learn about Badre’s memoir “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant”
May 7th @ Bring on Lemons with Karen Levy
Israeli-American author Karen Levy reviews “Looking West; The Journey of a Lebanese-American Immigrant” by Albert Nasib Badre.
Thank you Beverley for your review and for your perceptive comments that my immigrant life was radically different from my life in Lebanon. You were absolutely on target with your comment, “It is a candid look at the differing lifestyles of Lebanon and the U.S. and the challenges immigrants face when arriving in a new land.” Just one example of the difference for me–In Beirut, relatives and friends lived within walking distance of each other, and they were easy to visit. In Albany (the city during our first three years in America), there were no relatives or friends, or any one to visit within walking distance. But I learned to adjust.
Thanks Al. I posted my review on Goodreads as well.
Thanks for a great read.