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Book: You know you're Lebanese when illustrations jokes book  
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Book: You know you're Lebanese when...

Cooking up the title, You Know You're Lebanese When... Turning Point Books used this sentence starter as the recipe to capture a taste of the Lebanese in Lebanon with their quirky characteristics. For our publishing house's creative kitchen, vetting a talented illustrator to stir the soup was an essential ingredient to giving the text its full flavor.

With only 30 sentences, it's tricky to capture a nationality's idiosyncrasies, customs and contradictions. Our seemingly simple selection was complex to whisk up because it's easy to fall into clichés and fail to capture the essence of a people.

We just wanted to dish out a quirky taste of the Lebanese, a proud, resourceful people whose country is a strategic strip of land on the Eastern Mediterranean. A small country with big flavor, Lebanon is at times funny and endearing, at other times bold and brash. It's a motley mix of strong family ties, lifestyle, allergy to following rule and order and a tendency to "show off".

We at Turning Point Books enjoyed adding a big dash of humor to this complex Lebanese stew. For future editions, if you'd like to add your own seasoning, please send your sentence.

Our thanks go to our English editor, Julie Hannouche, for sharpening and refining the sentences, Sabine Taoukjian for her marvelous Arabic translation and editing. Sinan Hallak for his sleek and stylish graphic design work, and to Karim Al-Dahdah, our illustrator, for his humorous visual interpretation of the phrases. Our final thanks go to the Lebanese themselves for delighting and infuriating the world with their peculiarities and charm. This book laughs with the Lebanese, not at them!

Karim Al-Dahdah was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and started freelancing at age 18, when he was still an undergraduate at the Academie Libanaise des Beaux-Arts (ALBA). After a Master's degree in Illustration from the Savannah College of Art and Design, USA, he founded Karim Al-Dahdah Illustration Studio, with a focus on school books, children's books and editorial and advertising illustrations. He is also a part-time instructor at ALBA and the Lebanese American University.

You know you're Lebanese when... Illustrations: Karim Al-Dahdah. Turning Point
In English and Arabic - 14 x 16 x 0.6 cm - Extracts and captures

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