I cannot imagine how hard it must have been for Najla el Khatib to try and write down her sister’s story, but I can only admire her courage and perseverance in coming up with this children’s book after several years, to memorialize Alexandra Najjar and send out a message of hope and resilience.
Before talking about the book, and as I was watching Najla’s interview, I thought her sister’s name (Sara) rang a bell but I had to look back at my posts to make the connection. Sara el Khatib was a 4th year pharmacy student at LAU when she was diagnosed with cancer and had to live with an amputation and enduring the accompanying pain. She unfortunately lost her fight but will always be remembered for the inspiring TEDx talk she gave only 14 days before passing away.
Najla’s book may be about a young girl called Alex but as she mentions, she left a lot of hints that remind her of her brave sister, one of those being the children’s handwriting book and the pencil, which Sara had to use at some point to train her left arm in order to be able to write again in exams and classes.
‘Picture Perfect’ wants to encourage the younger generations to seek change, aims at empowering them and helping them speak up and stand out. Just like young Alex wants new coloring pencils for her drawing, Lebanon is in dire need of new figures, a new class of politicians and leaders, and it’s up to the younger generations to make this change happen.
The book is available at CookieDoughBoutique, Smol Store, Librairie Stephan and PopOfHopeLebanon. All proceeds will be donated to the Look Forward Association which helps kids with cancer or amputations.
I am definitely getting my copy.