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Portraits of Potters Bar-bookcover

By: Iris Briggs Sharaf

Portraits of Potters Bar

Pages: 198 Ratings:
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As the title shows, it has two main subjects: WWII and Potters Bar – which is my hometown, almost but not quite a suburb of London. The global public already has extensive knowledge of WWII, yet the same cannot be said of Potters Bar. Outside Britain, there are probably no more than a few thousand people who have even heard of it. But for me it was the hub of the universe as I grew up – passing through childhood, then adolescence, eventually teetering on the brink of adulthood.

Not just battles and air-raids, victories and defeats – the hard stuff of war – all that’s common knowledge. But – the things we did against that ever-present background. At home, at school, as we started out in jobs. Falling in love – and out of it! In short, the way we lived our everyday lives and yes, in spite of continuous tragic realities, the fun we had – tremendous fun at times. My memories are still extremely vivid – albeit many of them a child’s eye view. Read all about it!

Iris Briggs Sharaf is British by birth and was born in 1930. She got educated in state schools, and started her work life in London at Harrods Book Department and Library then at Foyles. She married in her twenties to an Egyptian professor of geography and then immigrated to Egypt where Iris spent the greater part of her life with periods of five and four years respectively in Libya and Sudan, with extended visits to Saudi Arabia. Iris worked many years of her life at the WHO regional office in Alexandria.

Much of her writing, though by no means all, concerns the Middle East, of which she absorbed considerable knowledge. Speaking Arabic reasonably well, mixing at all levels of society in all these countries – this has facilitated her writing about them, both fiction and nonfiction.

Iris was the matriarch of a large Egyptian family, children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. She passed away in 2016 leaving behind a list of unpublished work.

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