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Word Count: 850
In the memoir House of Stone Anthony Shadid goes to Lebanon to visit his grandfathers house in hopes of rebuilding and restoring it Over the last century the house in Marjayoun witnessed the fall of the Ottoman empire two world wars the decades-long civil war and most recently the war with Israel responsible for blowing off a part of the top floor of Shadids family house Shadid uses the house to share his family history with the surrounding gardens and the town of Marjayoun including their years in Lebanon He also includes details of his family immigrating to the United States abandoning the house in its war abused state Throughout the book the families trials and tribulations are mirrored in the long journey of rebuilding of the house that was expected to take a few months but turned into take up most of the year That year though allows Shadid to learn more about the Arab culture and eventually embraces it Also during the duration of the year he gets to know the community and the people of Marajayoun When Shadid first approaches the house he realizes it has been ransacked and formerly occupied by squatters but it still somewhat resembles a figment of its former appearance In the book Shadid displays of number of stories from his families past and parts of the towns history in order to show different times in which the Middle East had a large foreign influence Within the town there are threats of harsh war like activities with that there are people who are living in this community with these threats and explaining what that have had to live through but showing that they are ultimately everyday normal people For example of few people that were explained in the memoir that Shadid encountered was a temperamental elderly foreman a doctor dying of cancer who crafts bonsais and tends Shadids garden and the friend who came to Lebanon and
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