Readers Write

Dear Alesa,Screen Shot 2018-10-08 at 5.36.56 PM

Thank you so much for coming to the October meeting of the Santa Cruz County AAUW Evening Book Group’s discussion of The Kurdish Bike and sharing the real life experiences behind the book. Your illustrated talk was so interesting, and, of course, it was loads of fun dressing up in those elegant and sparkly Kurdish “special occasion” dresses.

Needless to say, we greatly admire your adventurous spirit, your commitment as a teacher, your efforts to enlarge our understanding of the unique history, culture and people of Kurdistan, and your efforts to provide meaningful ongoing assistance and support to the people of “your” village

~ Joan Schwimmer and the Santa Cruz Evening “Bookies”

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Dear Alesa:

Thank you  for taking the time to Skype with our book club this evening. It was a real treat for all of us to “meet” you and hear your life’s story. Our members are still talking about the event.

We will be sure to spread the word about your awesome book – to put in our reviews and anxiously await seeing A Kurdish Bike up on the big screen!

~  Liz Ray, Mt. Vernon, VA

Screen Shot 2018-10-04 at 11.54.29 AM
Members of the Southwood Bookclub Points North and South in Virginia served a Kurdish-themed dinner and posed with a real Blue Angel bicycle for their Skype presentation with the author. They all live on farms previously owned by George Washington.
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Dear Alesa,
While returning from our honeymoon in Iceland, we passed through Toronto on the way home. Our book club had selected the Kurdish Bike for our September reading, so I brought the book along, and had it in my hand when boarding the plane. A lady passed me in the aisle, pointed to the book and said, “That’s a great read. I loved the book, and I even got to meet the author!”
After refreshments, I found the lady again. She explained that she met you at a book club and heard about the real-life experiences on which the novel is based. I shared all this with my friend and co-founder of our Pearl Earring bookclub after returning home. We found your contact information, and were delighted that you agreed to come to our club.
What a wonderful evening it was. We laughed, learned, and felt really close to the Kurds and teaching community you were part of. The Kurdish food we shared, the open dialog, the colorful photos and the local outfits made the story come even more to life.
Thanks, Alesa, for sharing a wonderful evening with us. Beyond the story, we felt connected to the real people and culture behind the story, and were touched by your resilience, delightful story telling, and insights into the Kurdish culture you lived. I felt like I was right with you on your journey, facing challenges with you!
~ Elsbeth TeBrake, Los Altos, CA
20180821_183047
Members of the Pearl Earring Book Club in Los Altos, CA, enjoying Kurdish food catered from Urfa Bistro Mediterranean Restaurant. Elsbeth is at far left, and founder Margriet De Lange is in the foreground.
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