I don't post much but wanted to say "hello" and post a few things:
First, Umsami, I've been thinking of your dad and your family and making Du'a for him and you, praying for the best possible outcome.
Second, Liquesce, I read Desperately Seeking Paradise before I started my journey into Islam. It definitely has some primer-esque qualities, and it is not written mainly with a Muslim audience in mind. For practicing Muslims and those in the know, I think it could still potentially be interesting because it is a spiritual autobiography that (if I remember correctly) covers the author's experiences with various groups in England and out of England starting in the 1970s, all the while describing the development of his personal understanding of Islam. At the time, I found this book unique and refreshing and enjoyed the author's style. This author also did the Blogging the Qur'an series. I have since read another book of his, "Postmodernism and the Other," and found his thinking to be original, thought-provoking and inspiring. If I had more time, I would like to reread Desperately Seeking Paradise, just to see what I would think of it now. I'd be interested to hear what you think, too, if you read it.
1jooj, wishing you all the best with your big move! I recently visited the Gulf for the first time. I trust you will have an exciting adventure and a happy home in the UAE.