Book Author Gives Gilgamesh an Epic Spin
Atlanta, Georgia, USA, November 14th, 2018, Kam Karem
In the celebrated poem, The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh kills Humbaba, the guardian of the Cedar Forest, and chops down the trees. Now, a children's book author has published a fiction book written from the perspective of Humbaba's descendants.
According to Kam Karem, author of Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom:
My family, the Karems, immigrated to the United States from Bsharri, Lebanon in the early 1900s. In Bsharri, they, and the town's other inhabitants, served as "Keepers of the Cedars of God" for generations. This famous grove was part of the tremendous forests that used to cover most of Lebanon.
I've been doing a slow-burn with regards to Gilgamesh since I read the epic in high school. Essentially, to gain fame, Gilgamesh killed Humbaba, then clear-cut the Cedar Forest. As a matter of historic fact, the Egyptians, Hebrews, Romans, Greeks, Mycenaean's and Ottomans contributed to the deforestation of Lebanon. But using trees to build ships, houses, and temples is one thing, leveling a forest to satiate one's ego is another. Meanwhile, 4500 years after Gilgamesh reigned, the Keepers of the Cedar Forest, a role that all Lebanese share, struggle to bring light to their conservation efforts and for funding to accomplish reforestation.
In Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom, Ranger Nader is born into a family of Keepers. When he is accosted by a magic axe, he discovers he's this generation's "Guardian," i.e.: person entrusted with the axe to preserve and protect God's Holy Cedars. Along with his sister and two cousins, Ranger trains to crew a spaceship in a secret school hidden in Bsharri. He meets a descendant of Humbaba there and learns to use his axe. When Gilgamesh resurfaces intent on destroying the world, Ranger confronts the crazy king with the magic axe in an epic show down.
Ranger Nader & The Sunstruck Phantom is middle grade book appropriate for children ten years and older. It's on sale now at Amazon at https://amzn.to/