Lina, a Civil engineering student at Palestine Polytechnic University is an avid reader. She fell in love with reading for pleasure when she discovered how books can introduce you to new ideas and ways of thinking.
We caught up with Lina to find out more about how books have – and are – shaping her outlook.
The book is the gate you open to explore new cultures, travel through many strange countries; smell the odors of Indian spices in old markets, feel the cold weather in the North Pole.
Reading books is the most pleasant joy I have discovered. I started reading books in the sixth grade when my school opened its brand new library. I was thrilled to see what effect a book could have in my thoughts, culture and personality. Since that moment, reading has been my favorite hobby!
As a young Arab reader, I started reading Arabic books. Then when I turned 14, I decided I should develop my English language and the easiest and most fun way to do this was reading English books.
The most inspiring novel in English I have read was The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse. It tells the story of Mila, raised by dolphins, specifically by a mother dolphin who lost its child.
One day, Mila is found on a cay and rehabilitated by humans. It’s believed that Mila has been living there since her plane crashed when she was a young girl. The doctors who find Mila teach her to speak and act like a human. But Mila’s longing for the ocean and her dolphin family overwhelms her. The format of the book changes, the font growing larger and sentences becoming shorter as Mila struggles to return to the dolphins.
It was fascinating that someone could be a physical human and a sociological dolphin. It made me think that the environment has the deepest effect on a child’s personality and we should do our best as individuals and institutions to make a generation of healthy citizens.
This novel showed me that humans will never forget the people who raised them, cared about them and gave them love in the first stages of their life. Since then, I started treating children and people generally in a more kind and caring way, knowing that a small, simple act could have a very big effect in their life.
Finally, I learned that home is a very valuable gift. No matter how big or small, home is the place where we feel safe, loved, cared for and delighted. If we meet someone who has never felt this, we should try our best because everyone deserves it. Perhaps that’s the thing I have been doing most since I finished reading this book.