BOOK REVIEW OF- Legends Over Generations By- Ashraf Haggag

Paperback: 226 pages
Publisher: Tredition Gmbh (19 March 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 3743989972
ISBN-13: 978-3743989979

THE PLOT IN BRIEF-
People contributed to various life aspects such as science, politics, literature, arts, social activities and so many other fields. These genius minds put a keen interest in every phenomenon right from when they were young. The zeal, passion, dedication, hard work and efforts they put into their work helped them discover something new about the world we live in. In these Legends, we’ve seen inexplicable abilities that helped us define our existence and human life. Their names are engraved in the sands of time for their work in the welfare of mankind with different inventions that have made our lives easy, enjoyable and successful. The following chapters commemorate the greatest personalities we’ve ever seen who changed the world. They are among the most influential people of today’s world. With practical advantages in various aspects, they have helped us to grow a better understanding of the world and different working phenomenon’s that governs us. Their way of shaping modern day culture is completely unrivalled.

THE TITLE-
Well, how do you define Legends? Stored personal memories along with handed down collective memories of stories, legends, and history allows us to collate our interactions with a physical and social world and develop a personal code of survival. In essence, we all become self-styled sages, creating our own book of wisdom based upon our studied observations and practical knowledge gleaned from living and learning. What we quickly discover is that no textbook exist how to conduct our life, because the world has yet to produce a perfect person – an ideal observer – whom is capable of handing down a concrete exemplar of epistemic virtues. We each draw upon the guiding knowledge, theories, and advice available for us in order to explore the paradoxes, ironies, inconsistencies, and the absurdities encountered while living in a supernatural world. We mould our personal collection of information into a practical practicum how to live and die. Each day we define and redefine who we are, determine how we will react today, and chart our quest into an uncertain future. The title also metaphorically points to those facts that don’t leave your life behind as you live life! You have a true life to live! Live life and learn life! Face life and challenge life! Challenge life and win life! Win life and understand life! Life is a challenge and we are here to challenge and win life! Not until you wake up to be a master of your life, you shall always keep sleeping on your own destiny! All good and great hunters once upon a time shot wrongly, missed a good prey, went home tired and weary without a prey, and they met the most heartbreaking moments, but regardless of their slips and all that they endured, their biggest glory always came from the wild animals they could kill with their mere weapons!
Today that legend is inscribed on the stones that were used to build the walls of the school, and as the water falls out of the sky and over those stones, the words of the legend are carried down from the mountains and into the fields and gardens and orchards of Afghanistan. And as the water and the words rush past, who can fail to turn to his neighbour and whisper, with humility and awe-if this is what the weakest, the least valued, the most neglected among us are capable of achieving, truly is there anything we cannot do?
REVIEW OF THE BOOK-
The plot deals in reality. Fiction is written with reality and reality is written with fiction. We can write fiction because there is reality and we can write reality because there is fiction; everything we consider today to be myth and legend, our ancestors believed to be history and everything in our history includes myths and legends. Before the splendid modern-day mind was formed our cultures and civilizations were conceived in the wombs of, and born of, what we identify today as “fiction, unreality, myth, legend, fantasy, folklore, imaginations, fabrications and tall tales.” And in our suddenly realized glory of all our modern-day “advancements” we somehow fail to ask ourselves the question “Who designated myths and legends as unreality? ” But I ask myself this question because who decided that he was spectacular enough to stand up and say to our ancestors “You were all stupid and disillusioned and imagining things” and then why did we all decide to believe this person? There are many realities not just one. There is a truth that goes far beyond what we are told today to believe in. And we find that truth when we are brave enough to break away from what keeps everybody else feeling comfortable. Your reality is what you believe in. And nobody should be able to tell you to believe otherwise.
Not only the plot describes legends it explains what discovery is. A story is not like a road to follow, it’s more like a house. You go inside and stay there for a while, wandering back and forth and settling where you like and discovering how the room and corridors relate to each other, how the world outside is altered by being viewed from these windows. And you, the visitor, the reader, are altered as well by being in this enclosed space, whether it is ample and easy or full of crooked turns, or sparsely or opulently furnished. You can go back again and again, and the house, the story, always contains more than you saw the last time. It also has a sturdy sense of itself of being built out of its own necessity, not just to shelter or beguile you.
The author divides the plot into five sections. Human Rights being the first one. The fundamentalist seeks to bring down a great deal more than buildings. Such people are against, to offer just a brief list, freedom of speech, a multi-party political system, universal adult suffrage, accountable government, Jews, homosexuals, women’s rights, pluralism, secularism, short skirts, dancing, beardlessness, evolution theory, sex. There are tyrants, not Muslims. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that we should now define ourselves not only by what we are for but by what we are against. I would reverse that proposition, because in the present instance what we are against is a no brainer. Suicidist assassins ram wide-bodied aircraft into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon and kill thousands of people: um, I’m against that. But what are we for? What will we risk our lives to defend? Can we unanimously concur that all the items in the preceding list — yes, even the short skirts and the dancing — are worth dying for? The fundamentalist believes that we believe in nothing. In his world-view, he has his absolute certainties, while we are sunk in sybaritic indulgences. To prove him wrong, we must first know that he is wrong. We must agree on what matters: kissing in public places, bacon sandwiches, disagreement, cutting-edge fashion, literature, generosity, water, a more equitable distribution of the world’s resources, movies, music, freedom of thought, beauty, and love. These will be our weapons. Not by making war but by the unafraid way we choose to live shall we defeat them? How to defeat terrorism? Don’t be terrorized. Don’t let fear rule your life. Even if you are scared.
The second aspect is discovery. Imagination has brought mankind through the Dark Ages to its present state of civilization. Imagination led Columbus to discover America. Imagination led Franklin to discover electricity. Imagination has given us the steam engine, the telephone, the talking-machine and the automobile, for these things had to be dreamed of before they became realities. So I believe that dreams – day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain-machinery whizzing – are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization.
The author portrays history very philosophically keeping politics in the backdrop. If you imagine the 4,500-bilion-odd years of Earth’s history compressed into a normal earthly day, then life begins very early, about 4 A.M., with the rise of the first simple, single-celled organisms, but then advances no further for the next sixteen hours. Not until almost 8:30 in the evening, with the day five-sixths over, has Earth anything to show the universe but a restless skin of microbes. Then, finally, the first sea plants appear, followed twenty minutes later by the first jellyfish and the enigmatic Ediacaran fauna first seen by Reginald Sprigg in Australia. At 9:04 P.M. trilobites swim onto the scene, followed more or less immediately by the shapely creatures of the Burgess Shale. Just before 10 P.M. plants begin to pop up on the land. Soon after, with less than two hours left in the day, the first land creatures follow. Thanks to ten minutes or so of balmy weather, by 10:24 the Earth is covered in the great carboniferous forests whose residues give us all our coal, and the first winged insects are evident. Dinosaurs plod onto the scene just before 11 P.M. and hold sway for about three-quarters of an hour. At twenty-one minutes to midnight they vanish and the age of mammals begins. Humans emerge one minute and seventeen seconds before midnight. The whole of our recorded history, on this scale, would be no more than a few seconds, a single human lifetime barely an instant. Throughout this greatly speeded-up day continents slide about and bang together at a clip that seems positively reckless. Mountains rise and melt away, ocean basins come and go, ice sheets advance and withdraw. And throughout the whole, about three times every minute, somewhere on the planet there is a flash-bulb pop of light marking the impact of a Manson-sized meteor or one even larger. It’s a wonder that anything at all can survive in such a pummelled and unsettled environment. In fact, not many things do for long.
The author deciphers the inner meaning of literature. The truth is, everyone likes to look down on someone. If your favourites are all avant-garde writers who throw in Sanskrit and German, you can look down on everyone. If your favourites are all Oprah Book Club books, you can at least look down on mystery readers. Mystery readers have sci-fi readers. Sci-fi can look down on fantasy. And yes, fantasy readers have their own snobbishness. I’ll bet this, though: in a hundred years, people will be writing a lot more dissertations on Harry Potter than on John Updike. Look, Charles Dickens wrote popular fiction. Shakespeare wrote popular fiction—until he wrote his sonnets, desperate to show the literati of his day that he was real artist. Edgar Allan Poe tied himself in knots because no one realized he was a genius. The core of the problem is how we want to define “literature”. The Latin root simply means “letters”. Those letters are either delivered—they connect with an audience—or they don’t. For some, that audience is a few thousand college professors and some critics. For others, its twenty million women desperate for romance in their lives. Those connections happen because the books successfully communicate something real about the human experience. Sure, there are trashy books that do really well, but that’s because there are trashy facets of humanity. What people value in their books—and thus what they count as literature—really tells you more about them than it does about the book.
A wonderful book on Leadership, ‘Legends over Generation’ tries to consolidate the fact that Myths are different than fairy tales or legends. Legends are stories based in history and are more or less true. Myths, on the other hand, are stories containing a deeper truth—stories that transcend time. If you were to travel the world, you would find myths that are remarkably similar to one another—stories of heroes fighting the darkness with the light.
RATINGS-
Overall I would like to rate the book 43 on a scale of 50.
4 stars out of 5
Originality of the plot and sub plots- 9/10
Net emotions in the story- 8/10
Usage of words and phrases-9/10
The title, cover and the illustration-8/10
The net impact on the readers- 9/10

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ashraf Haggag is a senior executive with nearly three decades of experience in close proximity to the corporate market. His more recent experience has also taken him to every facet of the hospitality industry.
Haggag has direct experience in many different aspects of business, including sales, marketing, revenue management, and administration. Having worked in Germany, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, his global experiences have helped him realize that companies must target new market zones in order to grow and prosper in the international marketplace. He is eager to bring enhanced cross-cultural awareness to today’s business leaders.
Links to Amazon

English Version Amazon.in:
https://www.amazon.in/Legends-Over-Generations-Ashraf-Haggag/dp/3743989972/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1525866352&sr=8-1&keywords=ashraf+haggag

Link to “Book of the Month” awarded by tredition.co.uk in April

tredition.co.uk (Book of the Month):
https://tredition.co.uk/book-of-the-month-uk/book-of-the-month-uk-april-2018/
Link to Video

YouTube

Other selling platforms

Flipkart
https://www.flipkart.com/legends-over-generations/p/itmf4hsdg6nvdkyg?pid=9789387923140&lid=LSTBOK9789387923140DFJLYU&marketplace=FLIPKART&srno=s_1_2&otracker=search&fm=SEARCH&iid=7a4475ba-451c-4ab4-a576-9145a48cea60.9789387923140.SEARCH&ppt=Homepage&ppn=Homepage&ssid=qonjhftbfk0000001528099768017&qH=7d742e0e971e3e20

Waterstones;
https://www.waterstones.com/book/legends-over-generations/ashraf-haggag/9783743989979

Powells;
http://www.powells.com/book/-9783743989979

Barnes & Noble:
https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legends-over-generations-ashraf-haggag/1128310414?ean=9783743989979

Reviewed by-
Sayan Basak
Kolkata

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