What We Are Reading Today: MH370: Mystery Solved by Larry Vance

Updated 24 May 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: MH370: Mystery Solved by Larry Vance

  • Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing in 2014
  • Australian Transport Safety Bureau believes the airliner most likely ran out of fuel

The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014 is one of the world’s biggest aviation mysteries. Malaysia said on Wednesday that the search for the aircraft would end next week, after more than four years. Fragments of the Boeing 777, which was on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, were found washed up on islands off the African coast. 

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau believes the airliner most likely ran out of fuel and crashed after flying far off course. 

It believes all 239 passengers and crew on board were long dead inside a depressurized cabin and cockpit. “MH370: Mystery Solved,” written by Canadian air crash investigator Larry Vance, concludes that the pilot deliberately crashed the plane in an area where it would sink into unexplored depths of the Indian Ocean. Peter Foley, who coordinated the search for Malaysia, on Tuesday dismissed the book’s claim.


‘Tales of Yusuf Tadrus’ — the story of a struggling artist with bills to pay

Updated 20 June 2018
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‘Tales of Yusuf Tadrus’ — the story of a struggling artist with bills to pay

  • Esmat’s novel is a glimpse into the life of an artist, his constant attempt to merge imagination with reality and the life of a Coptic-Christian in Egypt

CHICAGO: Winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2016, Adel Esmat’s “Tales of Yusuf Tadrus” is the story of a young man from the city of Tanta that sits in the Nile Delta. Yusuf struggles to find a balance between his dream of oil painting, canvases and light with his reality of teaching English, providing for a family and attempting to understand where he stands in the world. 

Esmat’s novel is a glimpse into the life of an artist, his constant attempt to merge imagination with reality and the life of a Coptic-Christian in Egypt.

Beginning every chapter with “Yusuf Tadrus Says,” Esmat delves deep into the life of his protagonist, a young man whose very birth leaves him uneasy in life. Knowing his mother had not intended on having children and had devoted her life to God, Yusuf believes he is destined to be extraordinary and embarks on a complicated journey in art and life.

Esmat’s portrayal of Yusuf’s struggle is intimate and detailed. Yusuf is an extremely introspective, introverted character, whose world clashes with his art as it takes him from Tanta to Alexandria, back to Tanta and as far as Al-Tur.

Esmat insightfully narrates an incredible story of struggle and longing. He paints a picture of Egypt, especially Tanta, of the alley where Yusuf grew up on Ghayath Al-Din Street and his family life, his mother who collects contributions for the Holy Bible Association, and his father, Khawaga Tadrus Bushra, donning a Saidi jallabeya, a skullcap and a white scarf as he sells dry beans and seeds. Yusuf spends his childhood riding his bicycle with friends, collecting contributions with his mother, experiencing the Six-Day War and winning a painting competition that brings him to the Palace of Culture on Al-Bahr Street where he learns to draw and, eventually, paint.

Esmat creates in Yusuf a multifaceted character who is both the protagonist and antagonist in his own story, tormented between a dream and reality against the backdrop of an unforgiving society.