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I have just returned from a world far away from my own reality. I have met people and learned to know them better than I know some of my closest friends. I have visited them for a few hours every day, and during those hours I’ve felt my pulse rise, my heart beat faster, I’ve been disappointed and I’ve almost been moved to tears (had I been more emotional I would have cried at least a few times).


This world has been visited while I’ve still remained in the safety of my own living-room (or my brother’s living room, in my car, on a ferry, or in bed).


This time I’ve been to Iran. I have read the book The House of the Mosque by Kader Abdolah which follows the lives of the family living in the house connected to the Mosque in Senejan. The family has lived in the house for centuries, and the story told in the book spans for a few decades starting in the 1960s. A quick google search will give you a plot summary at the length you’d prefer.


I liked the book. I was not spellbound by it, but it was still difficult to put down. There are many characters, which I at times found a little confusing, I have never been good with names and as many of the names used in the book are quite unusual to me doesn’t help either.

The book is fictional, but incorporates real events and people. The story must thus be seen as a made up story. Still, the story has a lot to offer, and opens a window and a new angle of looking at conflict in the world today. It has helped me see further aspects of the wars fought in the Middle East.


I would absolutely recommend the book. It’s moving, it’s well written (at least the Norwegian translation is, so I assume the original or the English version is no worse) and reading it is a few hour well spent.