Rescue workers, top, and soldiers with investigators, bottom, work at the site of the explosion that hit the seaport of Beirut, Lebanon. (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

Langley author releases Lebanon humour book one day before Beirut explosion

Dr. Ted Siverns published Laughing in Lebanon: Stories of Jiha & Friends

On Aug. 4, 2020, ammonium nitrate exposed at the port of Beirut, Lebanon, killing 181 deaths and 6,000 injuries.

On Aug. 3, 2020. Langley resident Dr. Ted Siverns published his first book – a humour novel Laughing in Lebanon: Stories of Jiha & Friends.

“The timing for the release of the book, the day before the Beirut explosion, turned laughing to crying,” Siverns admitted. “Already there were serious concerns about the economy, especially food shortages, medical supplies and a deteriorating situation compounded by the needs of the many Syrian refugees.”

Siverns and his wife Betty had first left Kelowna for Beirut in 1986 – remaining there for the next three years.

“For whatever reason qualified faculty were reluctant to live in Beirut during the civil war,” he recalled. “With a PhD in Biblical Studies (McGill) and, I suppose, a sense of adventure, I responded to the request to teach at The Near East School of Theology.”

Siverns said Beirut was not a holiday resort. but what kept him going was the fact students from the Middle East and North Africa were ready and willing to learn.

READ MORE: Langley resident continues the story of Jesus Christ Superstar

“If I should describe life at that time in Beirut, you would think I was exaggerating and probably lying, so I shall simply say [it was] very interesting,” Siverns added.

Now settled in Langley, Siverns said he has wrote a lot through the years, mainly journal and other articles intended for academics.

He additionally presented a lecture called Humour and the Preacher, along with articles on the parables of Jesus, which he purposely takes the gloom out of to make for an exciting read.

Laughing in Lebanon: Stories of Jiha & Friends is his first book and follows a wise and comical character, detailing their life principally lived in and around the Middle East.

“It is my hope that my readers will enjoy the humour and perhaps learn something about the story-telling traditions of the Middle East,” Siverns explained, hoping the book may provide some comfort during a difficult time.

Laughing in Lebanon: Stories of Jiha & Friends is available as a Kindle e-book and on Amazon.


Is there more to this story?


Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter


Comedy and HumourLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Art in the time of COVID: how a Langley exhibition managed it

Holding the charitable event depended on which phase of restrictions were in effect

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

OUR VIEW: Fox fight continues

Thanks for keeping this courageous young man’s vision alive 40 years later

Lantern Park townhomes set to open this Sunday on Aldergrove/Abbotsford border

Developer Peter Reimer said more homes, including a mid-rise complex, are in store for the future

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Most Read