Introductory Video

by John McCarthy.

Welcome to the world of Hanna, a fictional Lebanese-American teenager attending an international school in Ras Beirut who aspires to be an accomplished writer of Arabic prose and romantic poetry. Recently arrived in Lebanon with his parents after starting life in the United States, Hanna is brimming with curiosity about his new homeland with its history, culture, cuisine and local girls and boys. The book is available in Arabic and Arabic/English versions.

Buy The Book Book Excerpts


"The stories are wonderful and would appeal to any age group. They are a good read because they have important messages behind them. I find the stories that deal with love -- especially unconditional love -- very touching."


"I am beyond impressed by your extraordinary prose and poetry. You are a wonderful storyteller mixing historical facts with anecdotes and emotions so well."


"I am glad to read each of Hanna's adventures. Although the themes and environments differ, there is always that important common point: the emotions."


"I am not only impressed with your Arabic but also very touched by the sentiments in your stories and your deep knowledge of Lebanese society."


"What a beautiful cultural trip! Simple, funny, informative!" 


"To use the language of the new generation, I can say that your stories and poems are WOW!"


J’ai voyagé avec Hanna dans un monde plein de simplicité et de joie et en même temps, Hanna m’a emmené avec lui au plus profond de l’amour dans diverses manifestations. La prose, la poésie, l’amour de toutes sortes et les plaisirs de la vie sont réunis dans ces nouvelles. Éparpillées dans la forme mais liées entre elles par des dimensions et des contenus, pour donner une image homogène de la tendresse de l’homme, qui grandit au fur et à mesure que grandissait son amour pour la littérature.

Comme si Hanna disait: "J’aime la littérature parce que c’est un paradis pour les amoureux".
La littérature peut contenir les sentiments et les pensées de Hanna, tout en lui permettant de se cacher derrière des mots pour atteindre l’infini.

J’ai aimé lire  le journal de Hanna, une collection d’histoires remplies de joie. Il s’identifie avec tous les types de lecteurs. Le lecteur jeune découvre, à travers les expériences de Hanna et ses tentatives dans la littérature et la vie, une ombre de ses expériences et une explication de ses réflexions. Le lecteur pus âgé est plongé dans les souvenirs des débuts et de la douceur qui donne un nouveau souffle de vie.

Anis Ben Khammasi

“A demonstration, par excellence, that clarity and simplicity open the door to emotion and reflection.”

Chris Greenwood

“Your book is very refreshing, with a lot of humor, well written, and demonstrates your accurate knowledge of Beirut and Lebanon. The places, the views, the culture and the traditions are all correct and well described.”

Rita Zeidan

“The book is very pleasant to read (also quite easy to read backwards as compared to how we are accustomed to read). I like the story and your way of writing. I also like Hanna’s poem “Belle de Nuit” and the way the poem describes what happened “with all the depth to grab the imagination”. Well done! Please let me know when the next volume becomes available.”


“I enjoyed reading the bilingual version of “Hanna’s Diaries” and felt transported from our cold winter to the balmy climes of Lebanon, with all its mystery and fascination. I am looking forward to the next volume.”

John Firestone (Washington, DC)

“I enjoyed very much your selection of locations in both Lebanon and Ireland. Laila’s description of New York is wonderful and accurate. Hanna’s poems are beautiful. I had a hearty laugh at Hanna’s last remark about observing Miss Besma’s shoes!”

Peter Corry Fleming (Long Beach, California)

What a delightful book, which provides a refreshing teenage insight to the world from an adventurously spirited Lebanese boy called Hanna. It no doubt will also be of great interest and assistance to those studying Arabic or English, due to its novel presentation of both languages mirroring each other on the page. I was particularly intrigued to read about Hanna’s visit, of all places, to Blarney Castle and its famous Stone in Ireland! But I suspect not only Hanna but the author also kissed it, as his eloquent account of Hanna’s teenage adventures flow as effortlessly and vibrantly as a babbling brook! A lovely introduction to the Land of the Cedars and many others besides….. makes me want to visit…and take up Arabic!

Roisin O’Connell Hussey (Dublin)

“I have really enjoyed reading every page of ‘Hanna’s Diaries’”.

Gordon Douglas (London)

“I thank you for taking me back to my university days at AUB over 25 years ago. While reading the book I saw myself walking the same streets, eating at the same restaurants...I could see the beach from my dorm and smell the sea. You even reminded me of my favorite shoe store. Amazing! Well done, simple, funny and just beautiful. I handed the book to my 17 year old son. He will start reading it in English and try the Arabic side this weekend.” 

Nawal (Vésenaz, Switzerland)

“I enjoyed Hanna’s Diaries so much and I look forward to volumes 2 and 3. I can see this little book finding its way into many backpacks and bags and being appreciated greatly.”

Ann Cully (Santa Barbara, California)

“I acquired and read your lovely book. It is a nice mixture of authentic Lebanese romanticism and American flair and openness. Very sweet. Reading this volume was a delight. Looking forward to reading Volume 2.”

Charles (Geneva)