I've been pleasantly surprised by the interest and the number of people who've already pre-ordered copies of my new book, Master Arabic. I wrote a guest blogpost at the end of last week for Lingualism, a wonderful small publisher that puts out quality materials relating to dialect. If you're studying Egyptian Arabic in particular, they have lots of materials you'll want to check out.
Today, I wanted to say something about the image I chose for the cover of the book. My mother, Liz Strick, is a painter and this is one of her recent works entitled Energy. She wrote the following about the painting:
"In 2014 I suffered a severe stroke with partial and permanent paralysis as a result. For an artist this is a tremendous, almost insurmountable, setback! Art took up an essential part of my life up until I suffered the stroke. Art always had a central place in my heart and in my head. After years of continued physiotherapy treatments and rehabilitation, it is hard to explain what happened when I was eventually prompted by my physiotherapist to start using my left paralysed hand for what I had alway loved doing best all my life: art. He gave me back my life and the gift of hope! It is a gift more valuable than I could have thought. Energy started flowing through my body and I had found my own way to overcome the ‘impossible’: drawing with my lame left hand! “Energy” was born and is here to stay." [SOURCE]
I thought the image was ideal for the cover not only because the lines reminded me of the Arabic script somewhat, but also because the story of the painting - born out of difficulty and determination - should be relatable to any student of the Arabic language. Check out the rest of my mother's paintings here, and if you're in the Netherlands, consider visiting her open exhibition, running until the end of the month.