A CINEMATIC DEBUT OF A PROMISING YOUNG NOVELIST FROM LEBANON--A FAUX-THRILLER ABOUT A RECLUSIVE BOTANIST WHO WITNESSES A POLITICAL MURDER AND IS DRAWN INTO A PERSONAL INVESTIGATION--A captivating thriller that reveals a family’s intergenerational secrets, a nation’s deepest fears, and an underground world of politics, religion, and society. Beirut at dawn. A bus leaves the Charles Helou station en route to Damascus. Seven passengers are on board, one of whom is a prominent Lebanese politician. Before crossing the border, the bus is accosted and derailed. All seven passengers are gunned down. A botanist studying a rare occurrence of acacias nearby witnesses the horror. While the nation around him plunges into conspiracy theories and chaos, the botanist realizes he holds the only clue to the mystery: his injured Acacia. This sends him on a quest for answers, through a minefield of national fears and family secrets, deep into a private underworld.
Inspired by the absurdity of beautiful things, Meedo Taha wears more hats than a hat stand: filmmaker, architect, father and occasional shade tree philosopher. He lives with his wife and son in Los Angeles via Beirut and Tokyo. Rather than wage war, his personas have joined forces to craft A Road to Damascus, his first actual novel. He has just finished a project produced by James Franco and is currently working on the movie adaptation of his first novel A Road to Damascus with Daniel Pyne, who wrote The Manchurian Candidate.
"A botany professor in pursuit of a rare Acacia along the road between Beirut and Damascus witnesses the massacre of seven people on a bus and hears the last words of one of the victims; a young man he collided into earlier that day. Thus begins the mystery of who the young man was, why he had a telescope pointed into the professor's apartment, how the professor's hometown fits into the young man's familial history, and who orchestrated the killings, which also took the life of a respected government official. Taha's home country of Lebanon sets the war-torn landscape as family secrets and hidden treasures open to the professor and his girlfriend while they trace the young victim's life story. There's a Hitchcockian tension as each peeled layer of history is carefully revealed, so it comes as no surprise that Taha is a student of film, nor that the novel is in development for a movie. In between twists in the mystery there are delectable moments of banter and conversation between the two protagonists. Taha's novel is a welcome revelation in the mode of Salman Rushdie's literary history-rich tales, though it is more straightforward. In all, a beautiful tale of loss, love, and the decisions that shape us."