The son of a poor farmer, Hedi lives near the ruins of a once-magnificent Roman city in Tunisia, North Africa, and sells straw hats to tourists visiting the site. One day he meets an artist who has come to paint the ruins–and he starts to see things in a different light…
On this podcast, author and poet Elsa Marston reads an extended excerpt of the story “Scenes in a Roman Theatre” from her latest book Santa Claus in Baghdad – And Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World (Indiana University Press, 2008).
Elsa Marston Harik has lived in Bloomington, Indiana since the 1960s with her husband, the late professor Iliya Harik, and their three sons. Thanks to trips to the Middle East connected with her husband’s work and her own interests, she specializes in writing for young people about that region and has produced much of her work in the hopes that it will help young Americans acquire a better understanding of the Middle East, past and present.
A independent film based on the title story of her book will be shown on the campus of Indiana University – Bloomington some time in the Spring 2009 semester.
Past works include The Ugly Goddess, a fantasy novel set in ancient Egypt, Women in the Middle East: Tradition and Change, a nonfiction book she coauthored with her eldest son, Ramsay M. Harik, and Muhammad of Mecca, Prophet of Islam, a historical biography based on reports of Muhammad’s life.