Twenty Lost Years (A Story in a Diary)

The Unsung Heroes Of Humanity

Ordinary people have always been and always will be the greatest majority of earth’s population and the prime movers of all life upon it.  Their stories, those unsung poems of humanity, have more to teach us than those of the few exceptional persons, consecrated to fame with historical accounts and autobiographies.

For every storied maverick, there are millions of un-storied plebs whose silent seeds blossom in the lush gardens of humanity.  To those unacknowledged, misunderstood, used, and abused human masses belongs our exceptional hero, the town’s red-eyed drunk, Mr. Aziz Mitran.

To him and the millions like him who have suffered and continue to suffer, who were blamed and continue to be blamed, and who, had they been crowned by fame, would have been regarded as most exceptional, I dedicate this work.

Twenty Lost Years: A Story in A Diary is about a fourteen-year-old Christian fugitive who, after his mother’s death, escapes his father's abuse and takes refuge in Tripoli, falls in love with a veiled Muslim girl, joins Les Troupes Spéciales under French Mandate, and, after twenty years of action and adventure, returns to his village to become the town's drunk, healer, teacher, and protector of its children.  It is set among Lebanon, Syria, and France, and spans the forty tumultuous years between 1926 and 1966.  Published in Beirut by Kutub, in beautiful hardback, as The Diary of Aziz Al-Mitfi.

A revised, second edition is now available in digital and paperback formats on

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