Cathy Sultan

Cathy Sultan

non fiction

A Beirut Heart


Cathy Sultan

Number of Pages


Year of issue










about this book

A Beirut Heart:One Woman’s War is the unforgettable story of an American woman who lived amidst the Lebanese civil war for eight years and through it all attempted to sustain a normal life with her Lebanese husband and two small children.

Sultan’s memoir offers a unique illustration of the unsung heroes of war–the women who assume the awesome task of keeping the family united during war time.

The book tells the story of how Sultan moved with her family in 1969 to Lebanon. For six years they led an ideal life experiencing the rich culture, exotic food and breathtaking landscape of a city located along the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

After the war begain in 1975, their lives changed forever. Sultan recounts how she held the family together by comforting her children after bomb blasts and consoling her physician husband who spent his days treating wounded civilians. To keep sane, she used cooking as her tranquilizer.

The unique narrative places us uncomfortably inside something we seldom consider–the domestic element of civil war–and leaves a permanent impression of the destroyed city and its resilient people…..

A beirut Heart was translated into chinese in 2013 which included a 3 week book tour throughout China.


“There is nothing like an intelligent woman, spouse and mother of small children, to carry one into the midst of war, with its horrors as well as its capacity for soul-building. Sultan’s narrative enfleshes our disjointed ‘news’ of the Middle East.”

David Burrell, C.S.C, Hesburgh Professor in Philosophy and Theology, University of Notre Dame; Director, Tantur Ecumenical Institute, Jerusalem

“…a view drawn from a camera obscura that moves behind the screen of invading armies, détentes, and broken treaties…a compelling story of survival that settles for no less than the promise that this family will remain together and safe at all costs…”

Colleen McElroy, Professor of English, University of Seattle; author of 14 books including Over the Lip of the World: Among Storytellers of Madagascar and Queen of the Ebony Isles, which received the American Book Award