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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

HOUSE OF PEACE (article first published : 2005-11-20)

Recently published by Madiba Publishers is House Of Peace by Durban author Nazia Peer. A medical doctor currently doing her community service at the South African National Defence Force, she is an identical twin and one of four sisters. She enjoys travel, fashion and experimental cuisine and is interested in pursuing a career in Medical Law.

While the book is fiction, Nazia Peer did take aspects of members of the community to base characters and events on. “I am Muslim Indian and growing up in a changing South Africa provided a good backdrop to my story,” she says.

House Of Peace is her first book. In the period it took her to write it, South Africa was undergoing political changes and Muslims all over the world were under attack. This heightened her enthusiasm to write and, in doing so, to undo some of the misperceptions of Muslims. “I am inspired by the unique consciousness we share as South Africans and hope that we are able to bring sense to the rest of the world in these trying times for many nations,” she says.

The book is a passionate story of an extraordinary Muslim family in modern day South Africa. It introduces the reader to controversial perspectives that face Muslims today.

The story begins when Shahid Hussein summons his six sons to their family home, Salaamat, meaning peace in Arabic. All of his sons appear successful yet are internally conflicted. Over the weekend at Salaamat, each son is faced with moments of truth in search of happiness and inner peace. Relationships are explored, truths are revealed, personalities and lifestyles questioned as the reader experiences the love, passion and loss of the characters.

With use of a contemporary style of writing, the author manages to balance serious issues with light hearted and humorous discussions, keeping the reader entertained. The weekend culminates in a deeper understanding of their purpose as young South Africans.

House of Peace is in soft cover and retails between R100 and R120. The book is available at Adams Bookstores, Exclusive Books and Logan’s bookstores.




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