Being the Light

Majid Karam ’95 finds a constant in the light mined from his family’s memories and experiences moving from war-torn Lebanon to United Arab Emirates to America in his new book.

“I feel like I belong everywhere,” says Majid Karam ’95 from his home in Colorado. And that makes sense. Home has been nearly everywhere for Karam.

His new book, Candlelight: Bittersweet Mediterranean Memories, viscerally evokes many of those places—the childhood joy he found in war-torn Lebanon and his parents’ memories of cosmopolitan prewar Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates he experienced as a teenager, and a college student’s America.

In all the changes he faced, Karam found constant things: His mother’s love and the light people share to help others find their way. Sometimes that light is literal—such as his mother lighting the room with a candle during a blackout so her children can shower or a priest using a flashlight in a bomb shelter. Sometimes that light is figurative—like the love with which his mother and others protected children from the war. That is the thing Karam hopes the book helps spread, the light we can be for one another.

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From the description of the smells of trees to the recipes packed in the back, readers share Karam’s life in the book’s pages. Photo provided by Majid Karam ’95.

“There’s always someone listening. There’s always someone there to help,” he says. He lives it, too. As his mother always pointed out the little things, the beautiful flowers, the bright taste of the food, Karam does with his own children, and now in sharing his story.

Candlelight: Bitter Sweet Mediterranean Memories

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