IPAF statistics 2008 ff.

compiled by Stephan Guth                                                                                                                                                                                                                                last updated 24 April 2019

based on IPAF press releases and texts found at the IPAF website (www.arabicfiction.org), authored mostly by Fleur Montanaro

 

           yearL,S,W = on Longlist, Shortlist, or Winner                                                                                                                      * in the year of short-/longlisting

 

no.

year

title

author

m/f

born

age*

from

Features / plot

1

2008S

Arḍ al-yambūs (“The Land of Purgatory”)

§ Beirut & Jordan: al-Muʾassassa al-ʿAra­biyya, 2007

Ilyās Farkūḥ (Elias Farkouh)

v BA in Philosophy and Psychology from the Arab University of Beirut

m

1948

60

JOR

fuses an autobiography of an individual with the story of an exiled man in general.

2

2008S

Maṭar ḥuzayrān (“June Rain”)

§ Beirut: al-Nahār, 2006

Ǧabbūr Duwayhī (Jabbour Douaihy)

v PhD Comparative Literature (Sorbonne)

v works as Professor of French Literature at the University of Lebanon

m

1949

59

LEB

evokes the horrors of internal division in Lebanon through his observation of village daily life where revenge is the prevailing system of justice.

3

2008S

Madīḥ al-karāhiya (“In Praise of Hatred”)

§ ………. 2006

Ḫālid Ḫalīfa (Khaled Khalifa)

v BA in Law from Aleppo University

v author of screenplays for TV series, as well as for the cinema; regular contributor to a number of Arabic newspapers

m

1964

44

SYR

narrates the experience of oppression under fundamentalist organisations in a Syrian society devoid of democracy.

4

2008S

Antaʿil al-ġubār wa-ʾamšī (“Walking in the Dust”)

§ Beirut: Riyāḍ al-Rayyis,  2006

Mayy Minassŕ (May Menassa)

v diploma in French Literature

v began as broadcast journalist, worked as a critic for Al-Nahār since 1969.

v many translations (Fr > Ar)

f

1939

69

LEB

celebrates a memory scarred by the tragedies of ward and loss in today’s world.

5

2008S

Taġrīdat al-baǧʿa (“Swan Song”)

§ Cairo: al-Dār, 2007

Makkāwī Saʿīd (Mekkawi Said)

m

1955

53

EG

describes an unstable, ever-changing social reality, lamenting a lyrical time now past, while fashioning a potential future of irresolvable questions

6

2008W

Wāḥat al-ġurūb (“Sunset

Oasis”)

§ a

 

Bahāʾ Ṭāhir (Bahaa Taher)

m

1935

73

EG

The desert is a space in which people discover themselves,’ says the author Bahaa Taher, and the desert is where his novel Sunset Oasis is set, in the last years of the 19th century.

It depicts the life of a middle-aged government official, Mahmoud Abd el Zahir, who is sent by his British superiors to govern the oasis of Siwa as a punishment for his involvement in the failed Urabi revolt in 1882.

Frustrated by the failure of the revolution and experiencing a gradual draining of his intimate feelings for his wife, Mahmoud decides to accept the mission, away from both scenes: the scene of his failed revolution and that of his failing intimate life. Except that his wife decides to accompany him, on a mission of her own, to follow the footsteps of Alexander the Great. His desperate attempts to discourage her fail, and he ends up followed by the shadow of his troubled emotions on a journey he originally wanted to use ‘to discover himself’, as the author puts it.

In Siwa Mahmoud faces yet another betrayal and a defeat on two levels: professional and emotional. He discovers that his deputy has been regularly sending reports to his supervisors about his failure to handle the locals, who revolt against him.

On the emotional level his marriage hits the rocks, his feelings for his wife become more uncertain than ever, and he doesn’t even make serious attempts to hide this, though the issue is never explicit.

Amidst this gloomy scene the author plants some bright elements that promise hope, some positive characters that seem to shift the course of events in a less tragic direction.

In Sunset Oasis we meet Sheikh Yehya, with his reconciliatory attitude and healing skills; his beautiful niece Maleeka, the free spirit, and Catherine's sister, Fiona, who comes to the oasis in hope of a cure for her tuberculosis and ‘can talk with the troops and the Siwan women and the Bedouin women and their children’. Yet by the end the destructive elements have prepared a tragic scene, and the hope proves to be ‘mirage in the oasis’.

7

2009L

Ġurfat al-ʿināya al-murakkaza (“Intensive Care”)

§ Cairo: Dār Šarqiyyāt, 2008

ʿIzz al-Dīn Fušayr (Ezzedine Choukri Fishere)

v writer, academic, diplomat, born in Kuwait, grown up in EG, 1987 BA in Political Science from Cairo Univ, then universities in FR and CAN, International Diploma in Administration from The National School of Administration, Paris (1992); M.A. in International Relations from Ottawa Univ (1995), PhD in Political Science from Montreal Univ (1998); currently teaching political science at AUC, + lectures at other universities; writes also political articles

m

1966

43

EG

(*KU)

An explosion that brings down the Egyptian consulate in Khartoum; two men known to each other since their university days, one a journalist, the other a secret service officer, both now living in Sudan; a respectable lady working as an advocate for the Muslim Brotherhood; an adolescent boy of Egyptian origin living in the US and on a visit in Sudan, who carries explosives in his suitcase…. These are some of the elements of the Egyptian author Izzedin Shukri’s novel, a novel that not only describes the network of terrorism or that of secret services but also the entanglement of individuals therein.

8

2009L

Katībat al-ḫarāb (“Platoon of Ruin”)

§ Beirut: al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī, 2008

ʿAbd al-Karīm Ǧuwayṭī (Abdul-Kareem Jouaity)

v currently director of Ministry of Culture for Tadla-Azilal province

m

1962

47

MOR

When a Danish lady offers to a Moroccan municipality a small tree to be planted somewhere in the town – as an expression of gratefulness for moments of bliss that she and her late husband had the good luck to experience in this town decades ago, this was bound to create problems. In this novel the Moroccan author Abdel-Kareem Jouaitly tells us about the sinuous and mysterious paths of bureaucracy and power and the fate of the individual under them. This is a narrative at once funny and painful.

9

2009L

Ṭaʿm aswad, rāʾiḥa sawdāʾ (“Black Taste, Black Odour”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Sāqī, 2008

ʿAlī al-Muqrī (Ali al-Muqri)

v has worked in cultural journalism since 1985; novel The Handsome Jew on LoL IPAF2011

m

1966

43

YEM

transports his readers into the city slums where poverty, filth, cruelty and injustice run rife. Basing his novel on historical research, al-Muqri explores the atrocious conditions in which the Akhdam class (the outcasts of Yemeni society) live.

10

2009L

Ḥāris al-tibġ (“The Tobacco Guard”)

§ Beirut: al-Markaz al-ʿarabī lil-dirāsāt wa’l-našr, 2008

ʿAlī Badr (Ali Bader)

v studied philosophy and FrLit at Baghdad Univ, worked as journalist for a number of newspapers and magazines; author of over 15 books, from travel writing and works of criticism to fiction; Kings of Sands on LoL IPAF2010; currently living in Amman

m

1964

45

IRQ

This retrospective novel-within-a-novel explores the origins of the current state of Iraq, taking the reader on a journey from the occupied and blood-soaked present day Baghdad back several decades to the 1930s. In this complex story, the author reflects on the country’s reign of violence, beginning with the attacks against Baghdad's Jews in 1941 and ending with the recent fall of Saddam Hussein

11

2009L

al-Waram (“The Tumour”)

§ Beirut: al-Markaz al-ʿarabī lil-dirāsāt wa’l-našr, 2008

Ibrāhīm al-Kūnī (Ibrahim al-Koni)

v grew up in the Tuareg desert, not learning to read or write Arabic until 12; studied CompLit at Gorky Inst Moscow, was journalist in Moscow and Warsaw; has lived in Switzerland since 1993

m

1948

61

LIB

is a profound and symbolic philosophical exploration. It dissects the concept of authority - the ruler and the ruled and the balance of power between the two. The author explores the relationship between man and existence, exposing the vulnerability of man in the wilderness of the world.

12

2009L

al-Qumqum wa’l-ǧinnī (“The Bottle and the Genie”)

§ Beirut: al-Kawkab, 2008

Muḥammad Abū Maʿtūq (Muhammed Abu Maatouk)

v BA ArLang from Aleppo Univ (1975); first plays 1978, many plays  for children; + novels, SS, scripts for TV soaps.

m

1950

59

SYR

set in an ordinary neighbourhood in old Aleppo, presents a microcosm of Syrian society during the period of social and political unrest from the 1950 to the1980s. With its effective, if measured, use of magical realism, the story recreates the lives of ordinary people in the neighbourhood, sharing their trials and tribulations during this troubled time in Syrian history.

13

2009L

Ṣalāt min aǧl al-ʿāʾila (“Prayer for the Family”)

§ Beirut: al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī,  2008

Rīnīh al-Ḥāyik (Renée Hayek)

v from SLeb, studied philosophy at LU, then career in journalism and literary translation; A Short Life on LoL IPAF2011

f

???

 

LEB

presents a distinctly succinct narrative that intricately portrays the difficulties and deprivation of a Lebanese family in their struggle as they are forced to relocate their lives. The unbalancing effects of the Lebanese Civil War are reflected through the story by the suffering and despair that the family must weather. Hayek employs a narrative style with subdued rhythms to render highly dramatic events.

14

2009L

Hāḏā ’l-Andalusī! (“The Man from Andalucia”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Ādāb, 2008

Bin Sālim Ḥimmīš (Bensalem Himmich)

v novelist and scriptwriter, PhD in Philosophy from U Paris; present Minister of Culture in Morocco; My Tormentor on LoL IPAF2011

m

???

 

MOR

tells the story of renowned Sufi philosopher Ibn Sab’in. Set in Andalucia in the declining years of Arab rule, the story unfolds in a time of civil crisis when intellectual and religious fanaticism prevails. Using Ibn Sab’in’s books and letters, Moroccan author Bensalem Himmich examines Ibn Sab’in’s tolerant vision towards life and religion at a time of unrest and uses it to throw light on present day issues.

15

2009L

Māʾ al-samāʾ (“Ma' Al Sama'”)

§ Amman: Dār al-Šurūq, 2008

Yaḥyŕ Yaḫluf (Yahya Yakhlif)

v has lived as a refugee for most of his life

m

1944

65

PAL

follows the lives of Palestinian exiles after their expulsion from their homeland. In an emotional account taking in the troubled years between the 1948 Nakba and the defeat of 1967, including the Palestinian revolt emerging from the refugee camps during the 1960s, the story examines the ordeal of the exiles, from the initial depression of exile to the pursuit to recover dignity and regain strength after a defeat that destroyed their world.

16

2009S

·         al-Mutarǧim al-ḫāʾin (“The Unfaithful Translator”)

§ Beirut: Riyāḍ al-Rayyis,  2008

Fawāz Ḥaddād (Fawaz Haddad)

v full-time writer since 1988

m

?

 

SYR

tells the story of a translator accused of betrayal due to his non-conformist views on the purpose of translation and the importance of creativity, thought, culture and civilisation. As a result, the translator builds a broad network of literary figures, journalists and critics in a campaign to establish that the art of writing – in its many forms – is essentially human and associated with freedom and life, and therefore rejects submission or subjection to exploitation, negotiation, opportunism or extortion.

17

2009S

·         Rawāʾiḥ Mārī Klēr (“The Scents of Marie-Claire”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Ādāb, 2008

al-Ḥabīb al-Sālimī (Habib Selmi)

v ??? (nothing provided, except publications)

m

1951

58

TUN

explores the cultural encounter/clash between East and West. Selmi explores this theme through the relationship between an Arab man and a Western woman, each embodying the value system of their respective cultures.

18

2009S

·         Zaman al-ḫuyūl al-bayḍāʾ («Time of White Horses»)

§ Beirut & Algiers: Arab Scientific Publishers, 2007

Ibrāhīm Naṣrallāh (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

v childhood and youth in the Alwehdat Palestinian Refugee Camp in Amman, began working life as a teacher in Saudi Arabia

m

1954

55

JOR (*PAL)

charts the history of three generations of a Palestinian family in a small village, Jordanian author Ibrahim Nasrallah’s saga is a descendant of a genre introduced in Arabic fiction by Naguib Mahfouz’s famousCairo Trilogy. Through the lives of the members of this family, Nasrallah depicts the tragedy of a whole nation under changing historical circumstances: the Ottoman rule, the British Mandate and the Nakba (the catastrophe of the Jewish occupation of Palestinian land in 1948) to the expulsion of the Palestinians and finally the post-Nakba era.

19

2009S

·         al-Ḥafīda al-amrīkiyya (“The American Granddaughter”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Jadīd, 2008

Inʿām Kachajī (Inaam Kachachi)

v studied journalism at Baghdad University, working in Iraqi press and radio before moving to Paris to complete a PhD at the Sorbonne

f

1952

57

IRQ

depicts the American occupation of Iraq through the eyes of a young American-Iraqi woman, who returns to her country as an interpreter for the US Army. Through the narrator’s conflicting emotions, we see the tragedy of a country which, having battled to emerge from dictatorship, then finds itself under foreign occupation

20

2009S

·         Ǧūʿ (“Hunger)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Ādāb, 2008

Muḥammad al-Busāṭī (Mohamed El-Bisatie)

v began his publishing career in 1962, writing for a number of newspapers and magazines

m

1937-2012

 

EG

is a detailed account of the ordinary lives of those at the very bottom of society, sufferers of continuous hunger. Through a detached yet intimate portrait of the day-to-day lives, Egyptian author Mohamed El-Bisatie explores how, despite their sufferings, these neglected people are still able to reflect on human existence and ask questions about their surroundings. 

21

2009W

ʿAzāzīl (“Azazel”)

§ a

Yūsuf Zaydān (Youssef Ziedan)

v scholar specialising in Arabic and Islamic studies, director of the Manuscript Centre and Museum affiliated to the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, university professor, public lecturer, columnist and prolific author

m

1958

51

EG

Set in the fifth century AD in Upper Egypt, Alexandria and northern Syria, Azazeel presents two parallel fights of the new religion (Christianity) and its believers on the one side and the old pagan religions and their believers on the other side. The other parallel fight takes place inside the monk Hiba whose life is a permanent fight between the two elements of his personality: the heavenly and the earthly elements, the pagan and the Christian. 

Azazeel is another name for Satan, who, in religious mythologies symbolizes man’s inclination to do evil things. In art, however, especially in poetry, the Arabic word for the Satan is shaytan. When combined with the word “poetry”, it symbolizes the inspiration sources.

So Yousef Ziedan’s Satan is all but negative, and has nothing to do with any rigid dogmas; it’s a symbol of man’s inclination to freedom, to dream and create.
Ziedan’s Azazeel is far more complex than that of the religious mythologies: he tempts Hiba into doing evil things, only to prove through the monk’s inner discourse, that this evil is nothing but a human’s purest repressed wishes.

Azazeel is nothing but the hook on which we hang our taboo desires and our inclination for freedom. It is our inner voice, our pure ego, free of all religious and social rules. 

The author has set tricky tasks for his two protagonists, Azazeel and Hiba alike: Azazeel’s tough challenge was to free a monk of his religious limits, and Hiba’s challenge was to handle a conflict between his human and divine halves.

Ziedan’s career as a researcher of religious scripts played an important part in reconstructing the world in which his novel is set. His characters move smoothly, both in their dramatic world and in the reality of fifth century Egypt and north Syria.

22

2010L

Man yuʾnis al-sayyida? (“Who Will Cheer up the Lady?”)

§ Amman: Dār Fadaat, 2009

Maḥmūd al-Rīmāwī (Mahmoud al-Rimawy)

v has worked as journalist for a number of Arab newspapers including Al Rai (JOR), editor-in-chief since 2007; currently focusing on his writing

 

m

1948

62

PAL

After the last of her children has flown the nest, the widow Umm Zurqa finds herself alone with no one to relieve her solitude except Umm Auni, her neighbour and life-long friend, and a strange tortoise she discovers in the street. The tortoise becomes her singular obsession and a number of questions arise: will people think she has lost her mind? Is it acceptable to keep a tortoise?  And what will her children think of this small creature when they come to visit her? Who Will Cheer up the Lady? is told through the voices of the narrator, the apprehensive old widow, her neighbour Umm Auni – who witnesses her madness – and lastly the grave voice of the tortoise.

23

2010L

al-Wārifa (“The Leafy Tree”)

§ Damascus: Dār al-Madā, 2009

Umayma al-Ḫamīs (Umaima al-Khamis)

v BA ArabLit from King Saud U, diploma in Engl from U Washington; currently in Ministry of Education, chairs the Women's Committee at the Ministry of Culture and Information

f

1966

44

SAU

In The Leafy Tree, Umaima Al-Khamis allows her heroine Jawhara to take control of the narrative, as if to compensate for the constraints placed upon the author by society. Jawhara works in a hospital in the centre of Riyadh and it is through her work that she meets Adrienne, a European colleague, who opens up the world to her with his stories.  It seems as though she is only able to live through the life of ‘the other’, even if that other is other is a Jewish doctor she met in Toronto. The narrative cleverly weaves together the details of her private life, such as her relationship with her family at home, with the very different environment of the workplace and, most importantly, the daydreams through which Jawhara often lives a parallel life.

24

2010L

Mulūk al-rimāl (“Kings of the Sands”)

§ Abu Dhabi: Kaleem Publishing, 2009

ʿAlī Badr (Ali Bader)

v studied Philos and FrLit at U Baghdad, then journalist; authored >15 books, from travel writing and works of criticism to nine works of fiction. The Tobacco Guard on LoL IPAF2009; lives in Amman.

m

1964

46

IRQ

Closer to a detective story than a novel, Kings of the Sands tells the story of a soldier lost in the bewitching world of the desert. In this tragic tale, instead of being portrayed as the usual dreadful end to human life, death becomes a commonplace and unremarkable backdrop – perhaps indicative of how cheap life has become in a country which has been preoccupied with war for decades.  With its desert setting, Kings of the Sands is a new direction for the Iraqi novel, which has tended to focus on urban life. The novel is both entertaining and fast-paced, and reveals the author’s notable talent for description

25

2010L

Tamr al-aṣābiʿ (“Fingers of Dates”)

§ Beirut: Arab Scientific Publishers, 2009

Muḥsin al-Ramlī (Muhsin Al-Ramli)

v has lived in Madrid since 1995, PhD in Lit and Philos from U Madrid; writes in both Arabic and Spanish; has worked as journalist and cultural editor for Arab, Span and LatAm press, many translations Ar <-> Span. 20+ books (ShSt, plays, transl,  novels); co-founder (in 1997) and co-director of publishing house and philosophical and cultural review Alwah in Spain, currently at American U in Madrid (St Louis U)

m

1967

43

IRQ

Fingers of Dates is set in Iraq at the time of Saddam Hussein's rule.  A beautiful and moving account of daily Iraqi life, Fingers of Dates tells the tale of a man and his relationships with his lover and his family, with a particularly touching look at the father-son relationship. The novel relates the dispersal of Iraqis at this time and how some were forced to forsake their identities in a new life in which they are neither able to function nor successfully integrate. In this profound novel, Muhsin al-Ramli shows he is clearly a master of his craft.

26

2010L

Šāriʿ al-ʿaṭāyif (“Street of Affections”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Sāqī,  2009

ʿAbdallāh Bin Baḫīt (Abdullah Bin Bakheet)

v graduated from King Saud U, then 1978 journalist for al-Yamama magazine and editing the literary section of al-Riyadh newspaper; translations, studies on Arabic novel, writing for television; writes column for al-Riyadh, active campaigner for women's rights, respect for minorities and the easing of religious tensions.

m

1952

58

SAU

In Street of Affections, Abdullah Bin Bakheet tells the story of three ruined lives from within Saudi Arabia’s hidden history. The storyline focuses on: Naser, a teenage boy who is violated by the men of Affections Street and who later, in his madness, murders anybody who married his beloved cousin; of Shanghafa; the disabled slave who in freedom finds himself enslaved by an inner prison and whose quarrelsome, drunken ways ultimately lead to his execution and lastly the story of Sa'd, the son of a poor family, who becomes enamoured of a prostitute on the mysterious Pearl Island. In a language filled with local colour and the experience of deprivation, Abdullah Bin Bakheet gives to the marginalised a voice with which to express their tragedies

27

2010L

Miʾa wa-ṯamānūn ġurūban (“180 Sunsets”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Sāqī,  2009

Ḥasan Dāʾūd (Hassan Daoud)

v novelist and journalist, writing for e.g. al-Safeer and al-Hayat; currently manages the Nawafez supplement of al-Mustaqbal newspaper

m

1950

60

LEB

There are no cemeteries in Zahraniya, as the novel's protagonist discovers one day after 20 years of living there. In 180 Sunsets, Lebanese author Hassan Daoud takes the Arabic novel in a new direction by focusing on details which are normally overlooked or ignored. Daoud's descriptive and contemplative prose quietly delves into its subject, but the patient reader will soon discover the heated emotions and simmering violence beneath the 'objective' surface.

28

2010L

Aṣl wa-faṣl (“Origin and Branch”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Ādāb, 2009

Saḥar Ḫalīfa (Sahar Khalifeh)

v obtained scholarship to study in US, there MA in EnglLit from U of North Carolina, PhD in Women's studies and AmerLit from Iowa U; all her novels deal with the situation of the Palestinians under occupation

f

1941

69

PAL

In Origin and Branch, well-known Palestinian author Sahar Khalifeh continues her narrative journey which attempts to explore the depths of Palestinian society and understand the overlapping discourses which have shaped its identity. Khalifeh uses the stories of individual lives to expose the psychological layers that form the fabric of Palestinian society. The author focuses on the interaction between the Arab self and the ‘other’, whether the other is Jewish, British or simply from a different cultural background. She also looks at the position of women under the occupation, who have found themselves caught between the hammer of tradition and the anvil of modernisation

29

2010L

Yawm rāʾiʿ lil-mawt (“A Great Day to Die”)

§ Algiers: al-Ikhtilāf,  2009

Samīr Qasīmī (Samir Kacimi)

v BA in Law, qualified lawyer; also cultural editor; currently copy editor

m

1974

36

ALG

tells the story of a journalist who plans to commit suicide by throwing himself from the top of a building. This tense novel relates his story through flashbacks to scenes that tell of physical pleasure and the failings of love. All this unfolds within the chaotic world of the lower and marginalised classes of the popular quarters of Algiers. Will the intellectual hero succeed in carrying out his own death, transforming it into a public spectacle that will immortalise his name and his message of despair to the world?

30

2010L

Ismuhū ’l-ġarām (“It's Called Love”)

§ ???

ʿAlawiyya Ṣubḥ (Alawiya Sobh)

v BA in ArLit and EnglLit from LU, has worked in journalism since the early 1980s; in the 1990s she founded Snob Al-Hasnaa, the best-selling women’s cultural magazine in the Arab world today, and remains its editor-in-chief.

f

1955

55

LEB

In It’s Called Love, Alawiya Sobh resumes her story of Beirut society with a depth of style and vision. The novel follows the fortunes of a number of characters whose experiences reflect the tragedy and destruction of the Lebanese people, from the Civil War to foreign invasion and the events leading up to the July 2006 war. The reader follows the fortunes of the characters, some of whom have the power to shape their own futures and others who cannot escape their destinies.  This is a novel that speaks about human suffering and the extreme experiences of love and fear in a world constantly overshadowed by violence.

31

2010L

Ḥurrās al-hawāʾ (“The Guards of the Air”)

§ Beirut: al-Kawkab, 2009

Rūzā Yāsīn Ḥasan (Rosa Yaseen Hasan)

v studied Architectural Engineering, then wrote for various Syr and Ar periodicals (cultural journalism); has also documentary novel in Cairo (A Negative of Political Arrests,  2008); selected for the Beirut39 as one of the 39 best Arab authors below 40

f

1974

36

SYR

tells the story of a political prisoner who suffers torture at the hands of the Syrian regime. By focusing on the breakdown of the relationship between the prisoner and his lover, the novel demonstrates how imprisonment, distance and daily anxiety can extinguish the flame of love and the dignity of the individual. The narrator, a woman who works with political asylum seekers in a foreign embassy, reflects on the sufferings of so many young Arab men who have experienced violence at the hands of Arab regimes through their social and political allegiances

32

2010S

al-Sayyida min Tall Abīb (“The Lady from Tel Aviv”)

§ Beirut: al-Markaz al-ʿarabī lil-dirāsāt wa’l-našr, 2009

Rabʿī al-Madhūn (Rabai alMadhoun)

v born in al-Majdal/Ashkelon (S-Pal, IL), 1948 Nakba exodus with family > Khan Younis (Gaza strip); studied at Cairo and Alexandria Universities, but expelled from EG in 1970 before graduating, because of his political activities; worked at the Palestinian Centre for Research Studies and as journalist and editor for many newspapers and magazines, currently editor for Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London)

v 2nd novel Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba (2015)

m

1945

65

PAL

tackles the Arab/Palestinian-Israeli issue, focusing on a pivotal time of anxiety and suspicion, with tensions on the point of boiling over. The novel’s protagonists are Palestinian exile Walid Dahman, who is returning home to Gaza after many years in Europe, and Israeli Dana Ahuva, who happens to be sitting next to him on their flight into Tel Aviv’s Ben-Gurion Airport. Their dialogue takes the reader into the far realms of memory, history and the self. The Lady from Tel Aviv is a novel that, in its complexity, intricacy and ambiguity, avoids the dogma of ready-made ideology.

33

2010S

Warāʾa ’l-firdaws (“Beyond Paradise”)

§ Egypt: al-ʿAyn Publishing, 2009

Manṣūra ʿIzz al-Dīn (Mansoura Ez Eldin)

v studied journalism at the Faculty of Media, Cairo University and has published short stories in various newspapers and magazines (2001ff.)

f

1976

34

EG

engages with Egypt's rural middle class through the character of Salma. The editor of a literary magazine, Salma is trying to dispose of her negative self-image by liberating herself from a past loaded with painful memories. The process encourages her to write a novel in which she tells her family history: a history of love, a history of the body, a history of movement across the social classes within her village, a history of madness, and a history of writing.  Through this process Salma’s identity is split into two. On the one hand she observes and narrates in the present, whilst on the other she delves frantically into the hidden depths of her memory.

34

2010S

Amīrikā (“America”)

§ Morocco & Lebanon: al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī, 2009

Rabīʿ Ǧābir (Rabee Jaber)

v has been editor of Afaq (the weekly cultural supplement of Al-Hayat newspaper, since 2001)

m

1972

38

LEB

evokes the story of the Syrians who left their homeland in the early twentieth century to try their luck in the young America.  Spurred on by a sense of adventure and the desire to escape poverty, they made the epic journey. Leaving their homeland with only a few belongings, their journey takes in everything from their travels across mountains and plains, to their gradual integration into American society, later becoming citizens of America and fighting its wars. In particular, the novel focuses on the character of Marta, who travels alone to New York in search of her husband, with whom she has lost contact. America is a tribute to those who left Syria in search of a new life from those who remained behind.

35

2010S

Yawm ġāʾim fī ’l-barr al-ġarbī (“A Cloudy Day on the West Side”)

§ Cairo: Dār al-Šurūq,  2009

Muḥammad al-Mansī Qindīl (Mohamed Mansi Qandil)

v born in al-Mahalla al-Kubra, graduated from medical school in Mansoura (1975), but gave up medicine, devoting himself instead to writing, and going on to win the State Incentive Prize (1988), fascinated with history

m

1949

61

EG

evokes the period of great archeological discovery and nationalist struggle in Egypt. The novel tells the story of a young girl taken from home by her mother when she is forced to flee her abusive husband. After changing her name and fastening a crucifix around her tiny arm, the mother leaves her daughter at a village in Asyut. The fate of the girl, who grows up to become a translator, intersects with that of a number of historical figures from the period, including Howard Carter, Lord Cromer and Abdulrahman al-Rifa'i. This thrilling tale is brought to life by the author's detailed and vivid descriptions of real historical events and places.

36

2010S

ʿIndamā tašīḫu ’l-ḏiʾāb (“When the Wolves Grow Old”)

§ Amman: Ministry of Culture Publications, 2009

Ǧamāl Nāǧī (Jamal Naji)

v born in the 'Aqbat Jaber refugee camp, Jericho (Ariha);  began writing in 1975; was president of the Jordanian Writers Association (2001-03); currently head of the Intelligentsia Centre for Research and Survey in Amman

m

1954

56

JOR (*PAL)

reveals the secret lives of the social climbers who have travelled from Amman’s poor quarters to positions of wealth and power, providing an insight into the world of the city’s preachers, politicians and charitable institutions. The book is told by a succession of characters who narrate incidents and scenes that repeat, conflict and develop from one character to the next. However the protagonist, 'Azmi al-Wajih, remains silent and shrouded in mystery throughout the novel:  is he the only one of these wolves that does not grow old? When the Wolves Grow Old is a story of human frailty and the complex interaction between sex, religion and politics.

37

2010W

Tarmī bi-šarar… («Throwing Sparks»)

§ Baghdad & Beirut: Al-Jamal Publications, ….

ʿAbduh Ḫāl (Abdo Khal)

v studied political science at King Abdel Al Aziz University in Jeddah before starting writing in 1980; member of the board of directors of the Jeddah Literary Club and the editor-in-chief of the Ukaz newspaper, for which he writes a daily column.

m

1962

48

SAU

a deeply dark novel which follows the confessions of a hit man, employed by a mysterious rich businessman in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

The service the protagonist renders to the rich man (the owner of a mysterious palace) is unusual: he punishes his employer’s enemies, his male business opponents, by sexually assaulting them, and capturing it all on video camera.

The palace in question is a stage that witnesses scenes of human disintegration, corruption and evil. Its dwellers are corrupt businessmen, prostitutes and people with distorted souls, entrusted with filthy tasks by the palace owner.

The ugliness of the scenes in the novel would suggest that they are metaphoric, were it not for the fact that the author, Abdo Khal, has been quick to declare that he does not believe in alien metaphors and symbols being forced on a non-existing reality. The novel, he adds, is based on an existing reality, one resembling a nightmare in its horrors. It is like a laboratory in which human evil is tested, and stretched to unimaginable limits.

The author lifts the luxury carpet in the palace to show all kinds of rotten dirt swept under it, in high contrast with the elegant decoration of the rooms and the expensive perfumes worn by its dwellers and visitors.

explores the corrupting impact of power, making a statement by placing the marginalized and the powerless in the limelight. The novel is dominated by characters who would never get attention in the real world: miserable, insignificant, wretched people, in sharp contrast with what we would expect to find in a society known for its extreme wealth.

In Throwing Sparks, the author throws light on the dark spots of the human soul, exposing what is hidden and leaving the reader with a shocking, generalizing assertion: “the human soul is nothing but a repository of dirt.”

38

2011L

Fitnat Ǧidda (“Turmoil in Jeddah”)

§ .: Al-Kawkab, ….

 

Maqbūl Mūsŕ al-ʿAlawī (Maqbul Moussa Al-Alawi)

v stories and articles previously published in local newspapers; this is his first novel

v BA in Artistic Education from Univ College of Mecca (1992); has worked as a teacher and instructor in the use of artistic materials and forms

m

1969

42

SAU

Set towards the end of 19th century, Turmoil in Jeddah is a story of Ottoman nationalism played out in the Arabian Gulf. When an Arab naval captain pulls down the British flag on his ship and raises the Ottoman flag in its place, he provokes outrage from the British Consul, the ship’s protector, and events spiral out of control, culminating in bloodshed and a popular uprising against the British.

39

2011L

Ǧunūd Allāh (“God’s Soldiers”)

§ London & Beirut: Riyāḍ al-Rayyis Books, ….

Fawāz Ḥaddād (Fawaz Haddad)

v full-time writer, has published several novels and a collection of short stories; was shortlisted for IPAF 2009 for The Unfaithful Translator

m

19??

 

SYR

In an action-packed story set in modern-day Iraq, a father goes in search of his son who has joined Al-Qaeda, hoping to take him back to Syria. Despite the protection of the American and Syrian Secret Services, the father is kidnapped by his adversaries and, along the way, finds himself in an audience with the real-life character Abu Muses al-Zarqawi, once Iraq’s most notorious insurgent.

40

2011L

Ḥabl sirrī (“Secret Rope”)

§ .: Al-Kawkab, ….

Mahŕ Ḥasan (Maha Hassan)

v Syrian/Kurdish novelist and short-story writer; B.A. in Law from University of Aleppo; journalist living in France; published her work in a number of Arabic newspapers and online; author of two novels, banned from publishing in Syria since 2000; in 2008 she lived for a year in the former, renovated apartment of Anne Frank and her family at the Amsterdam Merwedeplein, at the invitation of Amsterdam Vluchtstad

f

1966

45

SYR

Secret Rope contrasts life in Syria and France through the story of a mother and daughter. After her marriage in Syria, the daughter finds she must return to France to pursue a life of freedom that she cannot achieve in her homeland.

41

2011L

Ḥayāt qaṣīra (“A Short Life”)

§ ….: al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī, ….

Rīnīh al-Ḥāyik (Renée Hayek)

v born in SLeb, studied philosophy at LU, before embarking on a career in journalism and literary translation; author of a collection of short stories (Portraits for Forgetfulness, 1994);  novel Prayer for the Family was longlisted IPAF 2009

f

19??

 

LEB

A Short Life gives an eye witness account from a woman living in Lebanon during the long years of Civil War. Writing in the present tense, the reader is given an insight into daily life in wartime, from the difficulties and dangers of travelling across the country to the war’s effect on social life, from family to relationships with friends who have remained and those who have sought a new life abroad.

42

2011L

al-Bayt al-andalusī (“The Andalucian House”)

§ .: Jamal Publications, ….

Wasīnī al-Aʿraǧ (Waciny Laredj)

v prolific Algerian author, published in Ar and Fr, has won a number of prizes

m

19??

 

ALG

The Andalucian House relays the history of a house in Granada through the stories of the people who live there over the centuries. Amongst its many residents are two famous, real-life characters: the first, Dali Mami, a sixteenth-century pirate who fought for the Turks and was responsible, amongst other things, for Miguel de Cervantes's period of captivity in Algeria and the second Emperor Napoleon III, whose wife Eugenie was born in Granada

43

2011L

Nisāʾ al-rīḥ (“Women of Wind”)

§ .: al-Ṯaqāfa lil-Našr (Cultural Publications), ….

Razān Naʿīm al-Maġribī (Razan Naim Al-Maghrabi)

v five collections of short stories and a novel called ‘Ala Madar Al-Hamal

f

19??

 

LIB

Women of Wind is a moving story of female friendship and the secret lives of women. It tells the story of a Moroccan servant girl who requests the help of the women in her life to help raise enough money secure a passage on a smugglers’ ship. Before the heroine embarks on her harrowing voyage, the narrative weaves together the stories of the different women who help her, from the Iraqi woman who acts as a go-between between the heroine and the smugglers, to a female novelist and a little girl whose mother has abandoned her.

44

2011L

al-Yahūdī al-ḥalī (“The Handsome Jew”)

§ London & Beirut Dār al-Sāqī, ….

ʿAlī al-Muqrī (Ali Al-Muqri)

v poet, journalist, novelist born; started writing at 18; became  cultural editor for various publications after reunification of Yemen (1990); since 1997 editor of Al-Hikma, a literary publication of the Yemeni Writer’s Association; heads a literary journal called Ghaiman (2007-); novel The Man from Andalucia was longlisted for IPAF 2009

m

19??

 

YEM

This historical novel tells the story of two teenagers from opposing religious backgrounds who meet and fall in love against a backdrop of Yemeni culture. The story begins in a local village when the daughter of the Imam teaches a local Jewish boy to read and write Arabic. When they decide to run away to the capital in order to be together, neither foresees the long-lasting consequences of their decision.

45

2011L

al-Ḫaṭāyā al-šāʾiʿa (“Common Sins”)

§ Beirut: Dār al-Nahār, ….

Fātin al-Murr (Fatin Al-Murr)

v teacher of French literature at the Lebanese University; has published a novel and a short story collection

f

1969

42

LEB

A story of love and resistance set in Lebanon. Told from the perspective of a female narrator, Common Sins moves between southern Lebanon, Beirut and London and gives a perceptive view of the resistance in southern Lebanon.

46

2011L

Isṭāsiyya (“Istasia”)

§ Cairo: Dār al-Šurūq, ….

Ḫayrī Šalabī (Khairy Shalaby)

v born in Kafr al-Shaykh/Delta in 1938; has written over 70 books (novels, short stories, historical tales, critical studies); several prizes

m

1938

73

EG

Istasia is a Coptic widow living in the Egyptian Delta, who becomes a local legend when she dedicates her life to revenging the death her son through prayer. Assistance comes in the unlikely form of the son of the village’s leading Muslim family, notorious for their ruthlessness and cruelty, a lawyer who decides to investigate the case and bring Istasia’s son’s unknown murderers to justice. The moral of the story is that not every Muslim is good or Christian evil and that, no matter the religion, God will answer the prayers of anyone who has been wronged.

47

2011L

ʿAyn al-šams (“The Eye of the Sun”)

§ Arab Scientific Publishers

Ibtisām Ibrāhīm Tirīsŕ (Ibtisam Ibrahim Teresa)

v graduate from Aleppo Univ. in Arabic Language, has published four novels and two short story collections

f

1959

52

SYR

In The Eye of the Sun, protagonist Nasma returns to Syria after years in exile in Sweden and is forced to confront painful memories. Her story reveals a past filled with conflict: from domestic turmoil under a cruel and manipulative father, to political upheaval affecting both her family and the entire population of Aleppo. As well as relating the events that shaped her life up until the present, the novel explores the relationships she has with the men in her life, from her father and brother to her lovers, the man who tortures her and the man to whom she is now married.

48

2011S

Raqṣa šarqiyya (“An Oriental Dance”)

§ al-ʿAyn Publishing

Ḫālid al-Birrī (Khalid Al-Bari)

v degree in Medicine from Cairo University; has lived in London since 1999; has published two books, one of which is a biography

m

1972

39

EG

tells the story of a young Egyptian who, on marrying an older British woman, moves to England. Through his eyes, the reader is given a vivid account of the struggles and relationships of the Arab expatriate community living in the UK.

49

2011S

Muʿaḏḏibatī (“My Tormentor”)

§ .: Dār al-Šurūq, ….  

Bin Sālim Ḥimmīš (Bensalem Himmich)

v novelist, poet, script-writer, PhD in philosophy; current Minister of Culture; has published 26 books, both literary and scientific works, in Ar and Fr, won numerous prizes; novel Black Taste, Black Odour was longlisted for IPAF 2009

m

19??

 

MOR

In a gripping novel, whose narrative style is a blend of Kafka and One Thousand and One Nights, Himmich imagines an innocent man’s experience of extraordinary rendition in an American prison. During his captivity, the protagonist is subjected to interrogation and torture by both Arabs and foreigners and yet, against all odds, the author manages to find some hope in an otherwise desperate situation.

50

2011S

Ṣāʾid al-yaraqāt (“The Hunter of the Chrysalises (or The Head Hunter) ”)

§ .: al-Ṯaqāfa lil-Našr (Cultural Publications), ….

Amīr Tāǧ al-Sirr (Amir Taj Al-Sir)

v studied medicine in EG UK; has published 16 books, including 9 novels, 2 biographies and poetry

m

1960

51

SUD

The Hunter of the Chrysalises is the story of a former secret service agent who, having been forced to retire due to an accident, decide to write a novel about his experiences. He starts to visit a café frequented by intellectuals, only to find himself the subject of police scrutiny.

51

2011S

Brūklīn Hāyts (“Brooklyn Heights”)

§ Cairo: Dār Merit, ….

Mīrāl al-Ṭaḥāwī (Miral Al-Tahawy)

v currently living in New York

v assistant professor of Arabic literature in the Univ of N Carolina

f

19??

 

EG

Brooklyn Heights tells the story of the New York’s Arab immigrants and those who live among them through the eyes of the female narrator. By contrasting her experiences in her chosen home, America, and her homeland Egypt, she reveals the problematic relationship between East and West. It is a story of fundamentalism and tolerance, loss and hope in love. Simple yet full of rich detail, the novel evokes the atmosphere of America over the last decade.

52

2011W

al-Qaws wa’l-farrāša (“The Arch and the Butterfly”)

§ …. : al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī, ….

Muḥammad al-Ašʿarī (Mohammed Achaari)

v studied Law and Administration; worked in political and cultural journalism; was editor of a number of newspapers and cultural supplements; head of the Union of Moroccan Writers, Minister of Culture from 1998 to 2007; full-timer writer

m

1951

60

MOR

(LoL text) Tackling the themes of Islamic extremism and terrorism from a new angle, The Arch and the Butterfly explores the effect of terrorism on family life. It tells the story of a left-wing father who one day receives a letter from Al-Qaeda informing him that his son, who he believes is studying in Paris, has died a martyr in Afghanistan. The novel looks at the impact of this shocking news on the life of its hero and consequently on his relationship with his wife.

(Win text) is a journey in the life of a left wing Moroccan writer, Yousef, whose past life, political beliefs and faith in his own principles are shaken by a letter he receives one day. His young son, Yassin, raised in a secular family on principles of open-mindedness and free thinking, and who was sent to a prestigious Paris academy to study architecture, has chosen an opposite route to that which he was prepared for. The anonymous letter tells his father that the son “died as a martyr in Afghanistan”.

It takes a shock of this calibre to set a self-confident leftist to question values, convictions and ways which he has followed without thinking for decades. But mere thinking, which tends to take a static, linear route, seems incapable of pushing human beings to re-assess their deeply-rooted beliefs yet tragedy has done the job, shaking him to the very core.

Pain is not the only element of the formula; losing a son is not what sets our protagonist on his journey of doubt. It is rather his sudden discovery that his son, Yassin, made a shocking statement with the way he died. It was as though he was telling his father “dad, think again” and the father gets the message. No longer sure of anything, he calls his son to mind as if wanting to debate and argue his beliefs with him. The direction of the teaching process seems to be reversed, the son now teaching the father, who now realises that he had not listened enough, merely lecturing all the time with his strongly-held beliefs. His son's death makes him want to listen and he does it gladly.

In following the protagonist Yousef’s steps along the route of re-assessment of his past life, Mohammed Al Achaari explores the story of a generation of Arab left-wing activists who all faced the same dilemmas and spent years of their youth behind bars and long hours in passionate debates, building a dream of a better life, only to end up in frustration and bitterness.

Yousef, like many Arab veteran leftists, finds his own compromise: he manages to narrow down his dream of saving the world to building a kind of fragile balance in his relationship with his close environment: family and friends. He even reluctantly makes peace with the political system, at least on the surface.

Then comes the sudden death of his son to shuffle all the cards. His sense of failure overturns this delicate life balance, and among other things he loses his sense of smell, in a metaphoric expression of his indifference to what is going on around him.

In the months that follow Yassin’s death, Yousef tries to build a new life based on reconciliation with almost everything: love, family, and society. He even regains his sense of smell in the process!

53

2011W

Ṭawq al-ḥamām (“The Doves’ Necklace”)

§ …: al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī,

Raǧāʾ ʿĀlam (Raja Alem)

v began publishing her work in the cultural supplement of the Riyadh newspaper, also experimental plays for the theatre; won many prizes two works written in collaboration with American novelist and cinematographer Tom McDonough, published in English (Fatma: A Novel of Arabia, 2002; My Thousand and One Nights, 2007); lives in Mecca

f

19??

 

SAU

(LoL text) defends the old town of Mecca which is threatened with destruction in the name of modernisation

The sordid underbelly of the holy city of Mecca is revealed in this astonishing story. The world painted by heroine Aisha embraces everything from prostitution and religious extremism to the exploitation of foreign workers under a mafia of building contractors, who are destroying the historic areas of the city. This bleak scene is contrasted with the beauty of Aisha’s love letters to her German boyfriend.

(Win text) is not set in Mecca, as the reader might first think. Rather, its characters are desperate to break the walls confining them to the Meccan space and are eager to open windows to the world, both material and spiritual.
Raja, the author, is continually hovering in the Meccan space. For her, Mecca is a very rich world, extending from the past and the present, to the future, a world unfamiliar to those who see things in black and white and ignore what lies beneath the surface of things.

Raja’s Mecca is a place of many things and their opposites: sincerity and deception, wealth and poverty, architectural beauty and ugliness, whispers of the past and the assault of the future. Reality in this novel is an organic mixture of history, present day reality and fantasy. Some characters are flesh and blood and others are the product of dreams. The main narrator is neither Raja, nor one of her human characters. It is a neighbourhood in Mecca, ‘Abu Alroos’ (‘the Many-Headed’), where most of her characters dwell.  When human characters begin telling the story, it becomes revelation rather than narration.

The neighbourhood's eyes are wide open when others, including the police, go to sleep; hence it sees more of what takes place in its narrow alleyways. The police officer is incapable of finding the killer of the young woman whom he discovers lying naked in one of its streets and around whom the novel’s plot is built, but does Abu Alroos know? Even if it does, it will not give the secret away. It just keeps giving hints, while the reader desperately tries to follow the threads, without arriving at a specific point. The author is playing a trick on us, by pretending she too is looking for the killer, only to lead us away from the crime scene each time we think we know the killer’s identity.

The crime is complex and the killer has several heads, so whoever wants to be safe should try unconventional methods to escape. Confrontation is not in the characters' interests: the prison is narrow and dark, in Aisha’s room there isn't a single window and the only light which trickles in is from her memory (a trip to Germany and a love story there), or from cyberspace  (emails sent to her German lover) or through worlds opened up by imagination (D.H. Lawrence’s novels). To this we can add history, the escape route which Youssef the history graduate takes to a rich spiritual world.

The Dove’s Necklace is a spiritual journey across time and space, an attempt to break material barriers by creating virtual or spiritual spaces, and sometimes intellectual ones.

Characters are surrounded by walls and their lives are dominated by legends, harsh societal restrictions and the economic system and its powers.
Some of the characters choose to stay where fate has placed them, others decide to break free. They refuse to remain hostages to the limits of their bodies and the coercive laws of nature and society and resort to unlimited spiritual powers, freeing themselves from the dimensions of time and space.

This novel is a journey towards the freedom of the soul and its unlimited creative powers.

54

2012L

Sarmada (“Sarmada”)

§  

 Fādī ʿAzzām (Fadi Azzam)

v graduated from the Faculty of Arts in Damascus (1998), has written for Arabic newspapers, as well as publishing a number of stories in Arabic magazines; was a cultural and arts correspondent for Al Quds al-Arabi between 2007 and 2009; currently producer of documentary films and three-dimensional cartoons in Dubai. Sarmada is his first novel

m

1983

29

SYR

Documentary producer Rafi Azmi meets a strange woman in Paris - a Professor of Physics at the Sorbonne - who informs him that she has lived a previous life in his village of Sarmada, in southern Syria. It is turns out that she was murdered by her brothers in an honour killing. Affected by her story, Rafi returns to his hometown, to discover an entire world previously hidden from him. The woman’s story leads him to delve into the depths of the place and uncover its secrets, desires, beauty and the co-existence of its people of different religions.

55

2012L

Tablīṭ al-baḥr (“Paving the Sea”)

§ 2011

Rašīd al-Ḍaʿīf (Rashid al-Daif)

v prof. of Arabic Lit. at the Univ of Lebanon

m

1945

67

LEB

The second half of the nineteenth century saw Syrians fighting to build a new Syrian state and Faris Mansour Hashem is one of the movement’s most fervent activists alongside his friend, the influential writer Georgy Zeidan. However his plans are thwarted as, whilst he is studying medicine at the newly-founded American University in Beirut, student strikes force him to emigrate to the United States. Following in the footsteps of his father and thousands of his fellow countrymen, he begins a new life in America, joining the American army and going to fight in the Spanish-American war in Cuba. It is after he marries that he decides to fulfil his dream of returning to Beirut. But the question is: can he achieve his dream?

 

56

2012L

Ḥaqāʾib al-ḏākira (“Suitcases of Memory”)

§  

Šarbil Qaṭṭān (Charbel Kattan)

v born in SLeb, moved to South Africa in 1990, there cont. higher education => degree in Information Technology; currently living and working in Johannesburg; Suitcases of Memory is his first novel.

m

1970

42

SAfr(*LEB)

There are ‘lost’ bags in Beirut airport. A search is made for their owners and they either come to collect them or the bags remain forgotten in the storage room. There are also ‘orphan’ bags, whose owners cannot be identified... that is, until Ehab Alem arrives in the customs department. As a child, he lost his father in mysterious circumstances at the beginning of the Lebanese war, and he has dedicated his life to searching for him. So Ehab decides to solve the riddle of the five ‘orphans’ of the airport. Inside each bag is a story, told by its contents to those who are good listeners. As the owner of each bag is found, a different story linked to a part of the Lebanese war is told. In his quest to find each owner, Ehab starts to find himself by recalling his childhood. He begins to realise the meaning of life, revives his own hopes and falls in love, in turn bringing his own story to completion.    

57

2012L

Taḥt samāʾ Kūbinhāġin (“Under the Copenhagen Sky”)

§  

Ḥawrāʾ al-Nadāwī (Hawra al-Nadawi)

v lives in London; left IRQ with six together with family (political reasons) to DK; grown up there, learning Arabic at home; Under the Copenhagen Sky = her 1st  novel

f

19??

 

IRQ

Under the Copenhagen Sky tells the love story of Huda, a teenage girl born in Copenhagen to Iraqi parents, and Rafid, an older man forced to emigrate to Denmark by the political situation in Iraq. It begins when Rafid receives a letter from Huda, who he has never met before, asking him to translate her novel from Danish into Arabic. As their relationship grows, Huda begins to reveal what she knows about him. This novel weaves together chapters from Huda’s manuscript with Rafid’s own account of the romance that is developing between them through their email exchanges.

58

2012L

Kāʾināt al-ḥuzn al-layliyya (“Nocturnal Creatures of Sadness”)

§  

Muḥammad al-Rifāʿī (Mohamed al-Refai)

v cultural critic based in Cairo; has written Ṣabāh al-Ḫayr since 1980, won for Journalism for his weekly column (2000); author of books on theatre, incl Palestine in EG theatre and Experiments in Arab Theatre;  radio screenplays, 3 series for TV (based on Gogol’, Y Idrīs, etc.), screenplays for 2 films

m

19??

 

EG

Nocturnal Creatures of Sadness follows the life of hero Yahya. It opens with some bizarre events from his childhood, from the story of Ali ibn al-Aashara, who disappears from the town of Mahala al-Wasaaya, to the beautiful Saffiya who sets fire to herself and Ibrahim who loses his leg. We then follow Yahya as a young man, as he volunteers to fight for Egyptian President Gamal Abd al-Nasser. However, the grim reality of the 1967 war means that his illusions quickly fade. 

59

2012L

Riḥlat Ḫayr al-Dīn b. Zard al-ʿaǧība (“The Amazing Journey of Khair al-Din ibn Zard”)

§  

Ibrāhīm Zaʿrūr (Ibrahim Zaarur)

v Ibrahim Zaarur was born in Palestine in 1939. He is a short story writer, novelist and journalist who has eight published novels. He currently lives in Amman, Jordan.

m

1939

73

JOR(*PAL)

This is a darkly comic and fast-paced stream of consciousness novel in which a lorry driver inherits 25 million dollars. Whilst he cannot believe that he will be rich, he soon gains a sense of himself and of his own importance and rich relatives acknowledge him after years of ignoring him. However, a surprise awaits him when he goes to collect the inheritance...

60

2012L

al-Nabaṭī (“The Nabatean”)

§  

Yūsuf Zaydān (Youssef Ziedan)

v Dir Ms Centre and Museum at Bibliotheca Alexandrina; scholar in Ar & Isl studies, univ prof, public lecturer, columnist, prolific author. Azazeel,= Win IPAF2009; consultant on Arabic heritage, preservation and conservation for UNESCO, ESCWA and Arab League; projects aimed at the delimitation and preservation of Ar manuscripts; devotes much time to cataloguing, editing, publishing historic texts

m

1958

54

EG

The Nabatean deals with the fables surrounding the Arab conquest of Egypt in 640AD and the arrival of 'Amr ibn al-'As as well as throwing light on forgotten aspects of history such as the Persian occupation of Egypt. Youssef Ziedan draws in the reader by skilfully portraying the eloquence of the Arabs and the secrets of the Nabatean culture.

61

2012S

Šarīd al-manāzil (The Vagrant”)

§ ???????

Ǧabbūr al-Duwayhī (Jabbour al-Douaihy)

v PhD in Comparative Literature from Sorbonne, works as Prof of French Lit at the Univ of Lebanon. June Rain was shortlisted for IPAF2008

m

1949

63

LEB

The Vagrant tells the tale of a young man born in Tripoli, northern Lebanon. His family spends their summers in Mount Lebanon and it is there he is taken in by a local Christian family. During his time there, he finds himself missing the lively life of the capital, Beirut, and when the Lebanese war begins he is removed from the action. He ends up making friends with revolutionaries of all generations as well as wild, passionate young girls. But finally it seems there is an appointment he cannot avoid…

62

2012S

ʿInāq ʿinda Ǧisr Brūklīn (“Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge”)

§  ?????????

ʿIzz al-Dīn Šukrī Fušayr (Ezzedine Choukri Fishere

v writer and diplomat; born in KUW, grown up in EG;  graduated from Cairo University in 1987 with a BA in Political Science => studied in France and Canada, attained International Diploma in Administration from The National School of Administration, Paris (1990-92); + MA in International Relations from Ottawa University (1992-95), PhD in Political Science from Montreal University (1993-98); currently teacher of political science at AUC, lectures at a number of other universities; writes also political articles for several Arabic, English and French periodicals and newspapers

m

1966

46

EG

(*KU)

Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge follows protagonist Salma on the day of her 21st birthday, as she travels from Washington to New York to celebrate with her grandfather and family. As they celebrate Salma’s coming of age, we travel back in time to see the different paths each member of her family has taken, many of them left frustrated and unfulfilled by the cards life has dealt them. Embrace on Brooklyn Bridge is not merely a novel about the complicated encounters between East and West; it is first and foremost a book about the struggles of life.  

63

2012S

al-ʿĀṭil (“The Unemployed»)

§ ??????????

Nāṣir ʿIrāq (Nasser Abelfatah Ibrahim Iraq)

v graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts (CU, 1984);  has worked in cultural journalism in EG and co-founded the Dubai Al-Thaqafiya magazine (managing editor since 2004); works currently as Cultural and Media Co-ordinator for the Foundation of Culture and Science Symposium in Dubai

m

????

 

EG

The Unemployed tells the story of a young, educated Egyptian man from a middle-class family who, like so many others, is forced to look for work in Dubai due to the lack of opportunity in Cairo. In Dubai, he discovers an astonishing world filled with people of all nationalities and he experiences mixed treatment from his friends, relations and acquaintances. And then, just as he falls in love with an Egyptian girl, he finds himself imprisoned for the murder of a Russian prostitute… 

64

2012S

Dumyat al-nār (“Toy of Fire”)

§ ???????

Bašīr Muftī (Bachir Mefti)

v writer and journalist, often writes articles in the Arabic press and works in Algerian TV as assistant producer of the cultural programme Maqāmāt.

m

1969

43

ALG

Toy of Fire is the story of a meeting between the novelist, Bashir Mufti, and a mysterious character called Rada Shawish, who presents Mufti with a manuscript containing his autobiography. Shawish’s goal in life is not to be like his father, who ran an underground cell in the seventies and committed suicide in the eighties. However, circumstances drive him to follow in his father’s footsteps, resulting in him becoming a leading member of a secret group of his own.

65

2012S

Nisāʾ al-Basātīn (“The Women of Al-Basatin”)

§ ???????

al-Ḥabīb al-Sālimī (Habib Selmi)

v has lived in Paris since 1985; The Scents of Marie-Claire was shortlisted for IPAF 2009

m

1951

61

TUN

The Women of Al-Basatin is an intimate portrayal of the daily lives of a modest family living in the Al-Basatin district of Tunis in Tunisia. Moving between this small matriarchal world and a wider, richer and more complicated space the novel reveals the contradictions of the Tunisian and Arab self. In turn, it also exposes the cracks in the façade of Tunisian society, a society in flux between burdensome religious traditions and a troubled modernity.

66

2012W

Durūz Bilġrād (“The Druze of Belgrade”)

§ ???????????

Rabīʿ Jābir (Rabee Jaber)

v Lebanese novelist and journalist; has been editor of Afaq, the weekly cultural supplement of Al-Hayat newspaper, since 2001. America was shortlisted for IPAF2010.

m

1972

40

LEB

After the 1860 civil war in Mount Lebanon, a number of fighters from the religious Druze community are forced into exile, travelling by sea to the fortress of Belgrade on the boundary of the Ottoman Empire.  In exchange for the freedom of a fellow fighter, they take with them a Christian man from Beirut called Hana Yaaqub; an unfortunate egg seller who happens to be sitting at the port. The Druze of Belgrade follows their adventures in the Balkans, as they struggle to stay alive, planning their escape and return to their homes.

67

2013L

Malakūt hāḏihī ’l-arḍ (“The Kingdom of this Earth”)

§ Dār al-Ādāb

Hudŕ Barakāt (Hoda Barakat)

v has worked in teaching and journalism, currently living in France

f

1952

61

LEB

The novel begins in the 1920s and ends on the brink of the Lebanese civil war in the 1970s. The Al-Mazuqiya family live on the heights of northern Lebanon surrounded by magical legends and the popular history of their region, where the Maronites fortify themselves against their many enemies. Wars have passed through this region, shaking the whole country during the twentieth century. Despite great changes in their daily lives, the members of this family have lived on the margins of society and have been unaffected by the sufferings around them.

The Kingdom of this Earth is not a historical novel and its characters' lives are not representative ones. Through their simple pleasures and rugged existence, their moments of fun and their many illusions, they reflect the innocence of the ignorant, that which will not remain as it is.

68

2013L

Ṭuyūr al-Hūlīdāy Inn (“The Birds of the Holiday Inn”)

§ Dār al-Tanwīr

Rabīʿ Ǧābir (Rabee Jaber)

v novelist and journalist, has been editor of Afaq (weekly cultural suppl. of Al-Hayat) since 2001; novel America in ShL IPAF2010; The Druze of Belgrade = Win IPAF2012

m

1972

41

LEB

The events of the novel take place at the beginning of the Lebanese civil war (1975-76), when the war began to dominate the daily lives of people and large numbers were forced to leave their homes. Beirut was split into West and East. The fiercest battles were fought downtown, where the largest and most famous hotel in the city stood, the Holiday Inn. Most Christians were expelled from West Beirut and the majority of Muslims from the East, while the militias of the Lebanese Forces, the Tigers Militia and the Guardians of the Cedars took over the mainly Palestinian refugee camp of Tel Zaatar, where a terrible massacre took place.

The heroes of the novel all live in the ‘Abd’ building in Ashrafieh (East Beirut) and through their stories we are given a glimpse of Lebanese life at the time, and the experiences of isolation, fear, chaos caused by armed groups and kidnappings on the basis of religious identity. The book portrays the sufferings of everyday life and the tragedy of families searching for their loved ones who have "departed and not returned". Memories of those who disappeared are still alive today, along with the hope that one day those lost will return.

69

2013L

Yāfā tuʿidd qahwat al-ṣabāḥ (“Jaffa Prepares Morning Coffee”)

§ al-Muʾassasa al-ʿarabiyya lil-dirāsāt wa’l-našr

Anwar Ḥāmid (Anwar Hamed)

v novelist, critic, poet, began writing early, published from beginning of 1970s; M.A. in literary theory, many articles of literary criticism; has lived and worked in London since 2004, member of Bush Writers (society of writers who have worked for the BBC since it was established)

m

1957

56

PAL

The events of the novel take place in the Palestinian city of Jaffa and the nearby village of Bait Dajan in the 1940s. Unlike many other novels set in this period, Jaffa Prepares Morning Coffee does not describe the flight of exiles and refugee camps but markets, Turkish baths, family outings to the shore of Lake Tiberias and late night socialising. Preparations for war and the sound of bullets flying do not dominate the atmosphere. Rather, the focus is on ordinary details and customs of daily life in the city and the country: staying up late during Ramadan, social visits paid at Christmas and wedding traditions. The characters are feudal lords and peasants, illiterate people and graduates of the best universities, Muslims, Christians and Jews. The reader meets both intellectuals and thugs, women whose life is spent in the kitchen and girls wanting to fly high. It portrays a lifestyle, long forgotten but revived from memories cherished by old men and women interviewed by the author. The sleeping Jaffa has just woken up and prepared morning coffee.

70

2013L

Sīnālkūl (“Sinalkul”)

§ Dār al-Ādāb

Ilyās Ḫūrī (Elias Khoury)

v worked as ass. editor on the Palestinian Affairs magazine (1975-97), editor of cultural section of Al-Safir (1981-91) and Al-Karmel (1981-83); director of Beirut Theatre 1992-98, editor of literary suppl of Al-Nahar 1992-2008;  currently editor of Palestinian Studies magazine, since 2001 visiting prof NYU

m

1948

65

LEB

Sinalkul is a transparent portrayal of Lebanese society, expressing the loss of individuality and values at the time of the civil war.  At the centre of the novel is the family of a pharmacist, Nasri Shamas and his two sons Kerim and Naseem. The story follows the aspirations of the characters, including our hero Kerim, which end in failure. Even escaping to France cannot erase the memory of society with all its tragedies.

71

2013L

Ḥadāʾiq al-raʾīs (“The President’s Gardens”)

§ Ṯaqāfa lil-našr

Muḥsin al-Ramlī (Muhsin al-Ramly)

v writer, poet academic, translator; has lived in Madrid since 1995; PhD in literature and philosophy from Madrid Univ; first publication 1985; writes in Ar and Span; has worked as journalist and cultural editor for Arab, Span and LatAm press, translated lit works Ar <-> Span. Fingers of Dates on LoL IPAF2010;  co-founder (in 1997) and co-director of publishing house and philosophical and cultural review Alwāḥ in Spain; currently working at American University in Madrid

m

1967

46

IRQ

Set during the last fifty years of Iraqi history, this novel tells the story of three friends, exploring how ordinary people have been affected by historic events such as wars, the blockade of Iraq and the invasion of Kuwait. It examines the gap between the lifestyle of those in power and ordinary citizens. During the chaos of occupation, one of them loses his life, like so many caught between loyalists of the old and new regimes. The President's Gardens helps the reader understand the complexities of the successive tragedies besetting the ‘land between two rivers’. The gripping story is told with humanity, and life is somehow the victor despite all the obstacles.

72

2013L

Hādī al-tuyūs (“The Goatherd”)

§ Manšūrāt al-Iḫtilāf

Amīn al-Zāwī (Amin Zaoui)

v writes in Ar and Fr, prof of CompLit and Contemp Thought at Central Algerian University, previously taught in Womens’ Studies Department at Univ of Paris; returned to Algeria in 1999  to take up the post of director of the National Library

m

????

 

ALG

The events of the novel take place beneath the dome of a mosque, which is given different names by the Arab and Amazigh Berber inhabitants of the city. It follows the lives of three beautiful French Catholic women who decide to embrace Islam, each with a particular motivation: the first sexual, the second cultural and the last to spy on the Muslim community. Their decision to embrace the religion provokes conflict among the men, from the Imam presiding over their conversion ceremony who woos them one by one, to the journalist who comes to the city on another assignment but ends up interviewing the three lovely converts, hoping to be lucky with one of them. Another suitor is a young man claiming he is the great grandson of Napoleon the Third, who visited the town of Rezilan, east of Oran, in 1865 and spent an afternoon there with a woman who later gave birth to his grandfather. His origins drive him towards the same goal as the others. In engaging narrative style, somewhere between history and fantasy, The Goatherd portrays the destructive effects of the relationship with ‘the Other’, and exposes dealers of religion in an Arab world sunk deep in corruption and the culture of hypocrisy.

73

2013L

Ruǧūʿ al-Šayḫ (“The Return of the Sheikh”)

§ Rawāfid lil-našr wal-tawzīʿ

Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Nabī (Mohammed Abdel Nabi)

v B.A. in Languages and Translation from English and Simultaneous Translation, Azhar University; currently working as freelance translator; also criticism and translations

m

1977

36

EG

The Return of the Sheikh is a collection of intertwined stories which follow the life of Ahmad Rajaa'i. He recalls the episodes of his long life and breaks the rules of time and the inevitability of death by becoming a young man again. He wants to write down his story in two notebooks but circumstances prevent him from doing so. A young man and a young woman appear in the story. The youth, who has the same name as the Sheikh, tells the hero's story from another angle. He and the aged Sheikh vie for the love of Muna, the young woman, who is not interested in their struggle. The tale told by Ahmad Rajaa'i the youth continues, and it seems as if their narrative game will not end even with the death of the Sheikh.

74

2013L

Tūyā (“Toya”)

§ al-Dār al-miṣriyya al-lubnāniyya

Ašraf al-ʿAšmāwī (Ashraf El-Ashmawi)

v judge in the Egyptian court of Appeal and a former examining magistrate in the department of the public prosecutor, where he worked for seventeen years; 7 years ago, he was seconded as legal advisor to the Ministry of Antiquities, advising on bilateral international agreements and the return of antiquities smuggled out of the country. author of numerous studies on crime prevention, regular contributor to newspapers and websites since 2009 (history of Egyptian antiquities, social and political criticism of the state of Egyptian society); recently published: Legal Thefts: Stories of Thefts of Egyptian Antiquities, Their Smuggling and Attempts to Recover Them

m

????

 

EG

The year is 1970. The funeral of the Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser is being held. Youssef, son of famous skin specialist Kamal Naguib, is in medical college. Shortly after the death of the President, Youssef’s father also passes away, and so he goes to Liverpool, the birth place of his English mother, to continue his medical studies. His mother wants him to marry Katherine, an aristocratic English girl, and remain in England but he travels to Kenya to do research into treatments for leprosy. While living there he meets Toya, a woman belonging to the Kikuyu tribe. The author of Toya, Ashraf El-Ashmawy, describes a gentle love story between two people who belong to completely different worlds and makes us ask questions about the true nature of identity, belonging and loyalty and the extent of humanity's need for these principles.

75

2013L

Qanādīl malik al-Ǧalīl (“Lanterns of the King of Galilee”)

§ al-Dār al-ʿarabiyya lil-ʿulūm

Ibrāhīm Naṣrallāh (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

v parents evicted from their land in 1948; spent his childhood and youth in Refugee Camp in Amman, began his working life as teacher in Saudi Arabia; after return to Amman, journalist ; since 2006 full-time writer: project: Palestinian epic covering 250 years of modern Palestinian history, in seven novels;  Time of White Horses ShL IPAF2009; also artist and photographer

m

1954

59

JOR/*PAL

In the eighteenth century, on the shores of Lake Tiberias and the mountains of Galilee, Nazareth and Acre, an ordinary man started a journey.  His was the greatest goal one could dream of in those days: to liberate the land, achieve independence and establish an Arab state in Palestine. By doing so, this man was challenging the rule of the greatest empire at that time, the Ottoman Empire, which extended over three continents: Europe, Asia and Africa. His name was Dhaher Al-Omar al-Zeidani and he ruled over Palestine and beyond.

This epic novel covers 86 years (1689-1775) and contains historical figures as well as fictional characters. It moves between Palestine, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Istanbul. The novel is a deep reflection on the actual and spiritual history of Palestine and at the same time brings to the foreground an exceptional historical leader. Dhaher Al-Omar was unique in his understanding of the values of dignity, justice, freedom, the right to live and religious tolerance, in a way that was ahead of his time.

76

2013L

Aṣābiʿ Lūlītā (“Lolita’s Fingers”)

§ Dār al-Ādāb

Wāsīnī al-Aʿraǧ (Waciny Laredj)

v Prof at the Sorbonne and Central University of Algeria, having settled in Paris in 1994; has written many novels dealing with Algeria’s history and its harsh upheavals. For the past ten years he has produced work on the tragedies of the Arab nation, questioning the sacred and static account of its history

m

1954

59

ALG

Lolita's Fingers focuses on the ordeal of Arab intellectuals in exile. In particular it looks at the persecution they suffered under dictatorial regimes from 1960 to 1980, and then again from fundamentalist movements which took their place (1990 to the present). It demonstrates that fleeing your country and going into exile is not always a means of escape from surveillance and secret services, since Western countries began to use the same methods against Muslim writers after the events of 11th September 2001.

The novel exposes aspects of political corruption, fundamentalist thought and international terrorism, which has increased the Arab intellectual's sense of alienation. Amidst the political discourse, the author also tells the thrilling story of the hero's romantic relationship with Lolita, who takes on different characteristics depending on whether she is in her home country or in exile away from it.

77

2013S

Yā Maryam (“Hail Mary”)

§ Manšūrāt al-Ǧamal

Sinān Anṭūn (Sinan Antoon)

v poet, novelist, translator; returned to Iraq in 2003 to direct a documentary film called About Baghdad (2004), after dictatorship and occupation; taught Arabic literature at NYU since 2005

m

1967

46

IRQ

The events of the novel take place in a single day, with two contradictory visions of life from two characters from an Iraqi Christian family, drawn together by the situation in the country under the same roof in Baghdad. Youssef is an elderly man who is alone. He refuses to emigrate and leave the house he built, where he has lived for half a century. He still clings to hope and memories of a happy past. Maha is a young woman whose life has been torn apart by the sectarian violence. Her family has been made homeless and become separated from her, resulting in her living as a refugee in her own country, lodging in Youssef's house. With her husband she waits to emigrate from a country she feels does not want her.

Hope collides with destiny when an event occurs which changes the life of the two characters forever. The novel raises bold and difficult questions about the situation of minorities in Iraq, with one character searching for an Iraq which was, while the other attempts to escape from the Iraq of today.       

78

2013S

Anā, hiya, wa’l-uḫrayāt (“Me, She and the Other Women”)

§ Al-Dār al-ʿarabiyya lil-ʿulūm

Ǧanŕ Fawāz al-Ḥasan (Jana Elhassan)

v born in N Leb, lives in Beirut; 2006 BA & and teaching diploma in EnglLit, currently working on her MA; has also investigative pieces and general articles; currently reporter for The Daily Star

f

1985

28

LEB

The heroine of the novel, Sahar, feels a sense of loss and loneliness within her family, following her marriage. She had hoped to be a different kind of woman from her mother but finds herself falling into the same trap after her marriage to Sami. In constructing another self in her imagination, she finds an outlet which brings intellectual and existential fulfilment. The novel has an innovative structure, psychological and philosophical depth and a profound humanity.

79

2013S

al-Qundus (“The Beaver”)

§ Dār al-Sāqī

Muḥammad Ḥasan ʿAlwān (Mohammed Hasan Alwan)

v MBA from Univ Portland, Oregon; also writes weekly column for a Saudi newspaper

m

1979

34

SAU

The hero of the novel, Ghalib al-Wajzi, goes from Riyadh in Saudi Arabia to Portland in the USA. He travels back in time, through the story of three generations of his troubled family: separated parents, and brothers with nothing to connect them except the house where they live. Ghalib leaves Riyadh at the age of 40. He heads to a distant city to try to restore his memory with fragmented stories, with the help of a beaver that accompanies him on his fishing journeys to the Willamette River. Throughout the novel, he contemplates his relationship with his girlfriend who visits him over many years in different towns when she can get away from her husband.

80

2013S

Mawlānā (“Our Master”)

§ Muʾassasat Blūmsburī (Qaṭar) lil-našr

Ibrāhīm ʿīsŕ (Ibrahim Issa)

v journalist, began on Rose al-Youssef when he was still in his first year of studies at the College of Media, Cairo; editor of Al-Dustur daily, 1995-98 and 2004-Oct2010, when sacked by the paper's owner Sayyed Al-Bedawi; among the most active of journalists in protesting against political practices in EG => authorities closed down 3 newspapers edited by him, confiscated his novel Assassination of the Big Man; has left Al-Dustur newspaper, but continues to edit electronic The Original Dustur which is separate from the newspaper; has been editor of Al-Tahrir newspaper since July 2011

m

1965

48

EG

The novel relates the career of Sheikh Hatim Al-Shanawi (‘our master’), the permanent guest of a television programme presented by Anwar Outhman. The charming Sheikh answers viewers' questions and becomes one of the richest people in the country through exploiting visual media to the utmost degree for his own ends. By using his natural cunning he gives replies to please everyone, including the security services, though they bear no relation to his personal convictions. The hero has varied adventures such as his relationship with Nashwa, veiled from head to toe, who he later discovers is an actress working for the secret services. The hero plunges into the depths of Egyptian society and uncovers its secrets in a witty and satirical style. The characters appear to live in a corrupt environment dominated by fear, spying and bribery, where people lie to each other and are only concerned with outward appearances and the surface of reality.

81

2013S

Saʿādatuhū al-sayyid al-wazīr (“His Excellency the Minister”)

§ Dār al-Ǧanūb

Ḥusayn al-Wād (Hussein Al-Wad)

v university professor and researcher, author of several books on Class & MAL (studies al-Maʿarrī, al-Mutanabbi, Abū Tammām)

m

1948

65

TUN

The novel tells the story of a Tunisian teacher who unexpectedly becomes a minister. He witnesses first hand the widespread corruption in the country, eventually becoming embroiled in it himself. It is a richly humorous novel which successfully describes many aspects of human weakness.

82

2013W

Sāq al-bāmbū (“The Bamboo Stalk”)

§ al-Dār al-ʿarabiyya lil-ʿulūm

Saʿūd al-Sanʿūsī (Saud Alsanousi)

v novelist and journalist, currently writing for Al-Qabas

m

1981

32

KU

Josephine comes to Kuwait from the Philippines to work as a household servant, leaving behind her studies and family, who are pinning their hopes for a better future on her. In the house where she works, she meets Rashid, the spoiled only son of his mother Ghanima and father Issa. After a brief love affair, he decides to marry Josephine, on condition that the marriage remains a secret. But things do not go according to plan. Josephine becomes pregnant with José and Rashid abandons them when the child is less than two months old, sending his son away to the Philippines. There he struggles with poverty and clings to the hope of returning to his father's country when he is eighteen. It is at this point that the novel begins. 

The Bamboo Stick is a daring work which looks objectively at the phenomenon of foreign workers in Arab countries and deals with the problem of identity through the life of a young man of mixed race who returns to Kuwait, the ‘dream’ or ‘heaven’ which his mother had described to him since he was a child.

83

2014L

al-Iskandariyya fī ġayma (“Clouds Over Alexandria”)

§ Dār al-Šurūq

Ibrāhīm ʿAbd al-Magīd (Ibrahim Abdelmeguid)

v from Alexandria; BA in Philos from U Alex (1973), then moved to Cairo in 1975; also published documentary Days of Tahrir (2011); some of his work adapted for TV / film

m

1946

68

EG

In Clouds over Alexandria, Ibrahim Abdelmeguid completes his trilogy about Alexandria, begun with No-one Sleeps in Alexandria and Birds of Amber. In these three novels - which can be read as a sequence or individually - he describes life in the famous city, beginning in an era of openness to the wider world and ending at a time of closure to outside influences. The events of the novel take place in the 1970s, when the cosmopolitan spirit which has characterised the city throughout history has disappeared. In place of the melting pot of ethnicities, religions and cultures comes intolerance and hatred, destroying Alexandria’s secular traditions. The city occupies a large portion of the imaginary space of the novel, in which the characters play out their parts to reveal the social and religious crisis of a city now bereft of its free spirit.

84

2014L

Ġarāmiyyāt Shāriʿ al-Aʿšŕ (“Love Stories on al-Asha Street”)

§ Dār al-Sāqī

Badriyya al-Bišr (Badryah El-Bishr)

v PhD in Philos of Arts and Sociology from LU (2005), worked as AssProf at U al-Jazeera, Dubai (2010-11);  began writing weekly articles for Saudi magazine, Al Yamama in 1997, became well-known for her articles, becoming the first Arab woman to win the prize for the best newspaper column at the Arabic Press Awards in 2011; almost daily column for Al Hayat since 2009

f

1967

47

SAU

The events take place in the 1970s, on al-Asha Street in the populous district of Manfouha, Riyadh. Three heroines are searching for their freedom: Aziza hopes to find it through love and imitates Soad Hosny, the Cinderella of Arabic cinema, falling in love with an Egyptian doctor because he speaks the dialect of black and white films. Wadha, a bedouin woman, flees from poverty through work in the women's market, becoming its most important trader. Atwa literally runs away from her tiny village, changing her name and fate, and finds independence in the new environment of Riyadh. Their story begins in the romantic period of black and white films and lovers' trysts on the rooftops, where people sleep outside. However, with the advent of colour television comes a wave of religious extremism, opposing the social transformations which have changed the city. One of its first victims is Aziza's young neighbour, Saad. Searching for his identity, he joins the radicals led by religious activist Juhayman al-Otaybi, who famously occupied Mecca’s sacred Grand Mosque in 1979.

85

2014L

Ḥāmil al-warda al-urǧuwāniyya (“The Bearer of the Purple Rose”)

§ Arab Scientific Publishers

Anṭuwān Duwayhī (Antoine Douaihy)

v PhD in Anthropology from Sorbonne (1979), remained in FR until mid-1990s; currently Prof in Cultural and Social Anthropology at LU

m

1948

66

LEB

tells the story of a writer's arrest and imprisonment in ‘The Citadel of the Port’, a 700-year old Mamluk fortress built to guard the coast. The arrest of the writer, back from a long exile in the West, is a conundrum for all his friends, who see him as a quiet, peace-loving man. He is imprisoned in a bare cell, possessing only two high windows, impossible to reach, and a picture of the tyrant, who stares at him day and night. Perhaps his arrest confirms what his mother used to tell him: ‘Don't fear anything. What a man fears will happen to him.’ Painfully aware of his loss of freedom, he dwells on many things, including: memories from his time of exile; journeying between two worlds; old love and new love; his mother; the destruction of nature; the tragic nature of history; the strange coincidences of fate, and the courses taken by time and death.

86

2014L

366 (“366”)

§ Arab Scientific Publishers

Amīr Tāǧ al-Sirr (Amir Tag Elsir)

v studied medicine in EG and UK; books incl biographies and poetry. The Grub Hunter (2010) on ShL IPAF2011

m

1960

54

SUD

is the love letter of one man to a woman who doesn’t even know he exists. The protagonist falls in love with Asmaa the moment he sees her at a relative’s wedding. Captivated, he begins a quest to find her, searching everywhere from wedding photographs to the street, the neighbourhood and the faces of other women. He even looks for her in horoscopes, in love stories and in his own vivid imagination. In his letter, he lays out details of his life – from the job that he gives up in order to search for her – to his entanglement in certain political issues. When he fails to find her, he even announces his symbolic death, signing his letter as ‘the deceased’, as a preliminary step before completing suicide.

87

2014L

Mawsim ṣayd al-zanǧūr (“The Season of Pike Fishing”)

§ Dār al-ʿAyn

Ismāʾīl Ġazālī (Ismail Ghazali)

v born in Amazigh village; BA in ArabLit, works in the media

m

1977

37

MOR

A French saxophonist is invited by a Moroccan friend to visit the Aglmam Azgza lake in the Middle Atlas mountains, to try pike fishing. Once there, he finds himself dragged into a confusing maze, at the heart of which is the legendary place itself and the savage pike. He encounters many colourful and dubious characters including: Virginia from London; a blonde fisherman nicknamed 'pike-tamer' and a young hotel employee, who is investigating the tragic fates of those who have visited the lake since 1910. There is also a young girl at the lake, a scriptwriter, two actresses called Hagar and Sara, a piano player and so on... The Season of Pike Fishing is a novel within a novel and many separate narratives find a place within its structure.

88

2014L

Fī ḥaḍrat al-ʿanqāʾ wa’l-ḫill al-wafiyy (“The Phoenix and the Faithful Friend”)

§ Arab Scientific Publishers

Ismāʿīl Fahd Ismāʿīl (Ismail Fahd Ismail)

v full-time writer since 1985; BA in Lit & Criticism from Higher Institute for Dramatic Arts, Kuwait; worked as both  teacher and in administration of educational resources, + managed an artistic production company; is regarded as the founder of the art of the novel in Kuwait (1st novel, The Sky Was Blue,  1970); supported many ShSt writers and novelists => significant impact on the Kuwaiti and Arab literary scene

m

1940

74

KU

is the life story of Mansi Ibn Abihi (literally: ‘Forgotten One, Son of his Father’), who comes from a class of Kuwaitis called the bedun (‘without’) because they lack Kuwaiti citizenship. Released from prison after the liberation of Kuwait, he decides to write his life story, addressing it to the daughter he has never seen, Zeinab – who was born whilst Kuwait was under occupation - in the hope that she will get to know her father. Mansi recalls his sufferings as a bedun and tells his daughter of his family: of his mother, who preserves the family’s documents in the hope they can apply for citizenship and of his marriage to Ohood, a Kuwaiti, whose brother Saud refuses to accept the union of a bedun and a Kuwaiti. He writes about his life as a self-made young man and the invasion of Kuwait, when he was forced to join the Iraqi ‘people's army’, but managed to escape and join the Kuwaiti resistance. Finally he writes of his imprisonment following liberation, and his subsequent release.

89

2014L

Māfī ’l-rabb (“God’s Land of Exile”)

§ Al-Ḥaḍāra

Ašraf al-Ḫamāyisī (Ashraf al-Khamaisi)

v born in Luxo; editor for Al-Thaqafa Al-Jadida

m

1967

47

EG

God’s Land of Exile is set in 'al-Wa'ara', an imaginary oasis in the Egyptian desert of al-Wadi al-Jadid. The main character, Hajizi, is over 100 years old and has spent most of his life working with his father Shadid, embalming the corpses of animals. Disturbed by how the speed with which the living forget the dead, he longs for immortality and fears his own death and burial. When he hears from a passing monk that Christ rose from the dead and that righteous Christians rise from death, he decides to accompany the monk to join his brethren in the mountains. There he meets Christ, who tells him to wait for ‘The Comforter’ who will advise him how to achieve life after death. He returns home to the oasis and waits for instruction. When two of his close friends have died, he has a vision of his own, imminent death and, having not heard from The Comforter, contrives a plan to avoid burial. It is in his last moments that the Comforter arrives and shows him what he must do.

90

2014L

Ramād al-šarq: al-ḏiʾb allaḏī nabata fī ’l-barārī (“Ashes of the East: The Wolf who Grew Up in the Wilderness”)

§ Al-Jamal

Wāsīnī al-Aʿraǧ (Waciny Laredj)

v settled in Paris in 1994, now Prof at Sorbonne & Central U of ALG; many novels on ALG’s history and harsh upheavals; work on the tragedies of the Arab nation, questioning the sacred and static account of its history; his books are published in Ar & Fr. Twice on LoL: The Andalucian House IPAF2011, Lolita’s Fingers IPAF2013

m

1954

60

ALG

sees Jazz, a young musician of Arabic origin, exploring his identity through a symphony he is composing. The different elements of the music reflect the harsh reality of his life in America, where he is regarded as a hostile Muslim Arab, as well as stories from the life of his grandfather, Baba Sheriff. Going through key moments of his family history, he reconstructs an unadorned picture of the beginning of the twentieth century: such as Baba Sheriff being carried on his mother's back, or the death of Baba Sheriff’s father, who was incarcerated in Lebanon’s Aliah prison before being strung up on the gallows in Beirut by order of the Ottoman ruler Jamal Pasha, nicknamed ‘the Manslayer’. Jazz goes back to a time shaped by the pursuit of European, rather than Arab, interests, touching on the influence of well-known historical figures: from Yusuf Al-Azmeh, who resisted the French in Syria, to the escapades of Lawrence of Arabia, Prince Faisal and Viscount Allenby. It is through his symphony, Ashes of the East - which he performs at the Brooklyn Opera - that Jazz finds release and brings to life a grandfather who was nothing short of a walking history book.

91

2014L

Šurfat al-hāwiya (“The Edge of the Abyss”)

§ Arab Scientific Publishers

Ibrāhīm Naṣrallāh (Ibrahim Nasrallah)

v parents evicted from their land in 1948, spent childhood & youth refugee camp in Amman; began working life as a teacher in SAU; after return to Amman journalist and work for Abdul Hameed Shoman Foundation; full-time writer since 2006; is in the process of writing a Pal epic covering 250 years of mod Pal history, in 7 novels. Time of White Horses (2007) on ShL IPAF2009; is also  painter and photographer;  Lanterns of the King of Galilee on LoL IPAF2013

m

1954

60

JOR *PAL

The events in The Edge of the Abyss are told through the voices of three characters whose lives are intertwined: a former minister, known for his corrupt practices; his lawyer wife, restricted by her association with him and a professor, whose personal interests dictate that he should serve the minister, but who at the same time seeks to fulfil his dreams of love through romantic adventures and becomes entangled with the minister's wife. Their stories intersect with the changes following the Arab Spring, which is drawing everyone to the edge of the abyss. The Edge of the Abyss depicts an Arab reality where legitimate and illegitimate ambitions are merged, as are the suffering of the individual and that of the community.

92

2014L

Layl ʿAlī Bābā al-ḥazīn (“The Sad Night of Ali Baba”)

§ al-Markaz al-ʿarabī lil-dirāsāt wa’l-našr

ʿAbd al-Ḫāliq al-Rikābī (Abdel Khaliq al-Rikabi)

v BA in Fine Art (1970), teacher for 12 years, editor for two magazines, Journeys and Pens

m

1946

68

IRQ

In The Sad Night of Ali Baba, Iraqi writer Abdel Khaliq Al Rikabi continues his imaginative retelling of the history of modern Iraq. Using the American occupation in 2003 as a starting point, he looks back at the defining social and historical events which have taken place in the country during the 20th century, from the Ottoman Empire to the British and American occupations. Focusing on the American occupation, he explores the different ways in which people have been affected; from those who have suffered random violence to those who have exploited occupation for their own benefit. He explores the explosion of repressed religious, racial and sectarian tensions in Iraq as a result of occupation, and the subsequent hatred, intolerance and desire for revenge.

93

2014S

Ṭāʾir azraq nādir yuḥalliqu maʿī (“A Rare Blue Bird that Flies with Me”)

§ Dār al-Ādāb

Yūsuf Fāḍil (Youssef Fadel)

v novelist, playwright, screenwriter; imprisoned during the so-called ‘Years of Lead’ in the notorious Moulay al-Sheriff prison (1974-75)

m

1949

65

MOR

Aziz is a pilot at the air force base who loves flying and forgets his cares when he is up in the air. It is flying that he thinks of on his wedding night, rather his 16 year-old bride, Zina, waiting in the adjoining room. The following morning, he leaves his house at the crack of dawn, not to return for 18 years. His wife, Zina, looks for him everywhere - in prisons, offices, cities and forests – asking questions and following false leads, only to be disappointed. However, one day – in the bar where she and her sister Khatima work – a stranger presses a scrap of paper into her pocket. It takes her on one last journey in search of her husband: to the Kasbah of al-Glaoui in southern Morocco, where Aziz crouches in a prison cell, having lost hope of ever being found. A Rare Blue Bird that Flies with Me is a fictional testament to the terrible period of Moroccan history known as 'the years of cinders and lead'.

94

2014S

Ṭiššārī (“Tashari”)

§ Dār al-Jadīd

Inʿām Kača-čī (Inaam Kachachi)

v studied journalism U Baghdad,  worked in IRQ media before moving to Paris, there PhD at Sorbonne; currently Paris correspondent for Asharq Al-Awsat and Kol Al-Usra magazine (Sharjah); also biography, Lorna, about the Brit journalist Lorna Hales, wife of Irq sculptor Jawad Salim, + book (in Fr) about Irq women's lit produced in times of war and hardship; produced and directed documentary about Naziha al-Dulaimi, the first woman to become government minister in an Arab country, in 1959. The American Granddaughter (2008) on ShL IPAF2009

f

1952

62

IRQ

deals with the tragedy of Iraqi displacement of the past few decades, through the life story of a female doctor working in the countryside in southern Iraq in the 1950s. The narrative also follows her three children, who now live in three different continents, particularly her eldest daughter who has also become a doctor and works in a remote region of Canada. The title of the novel, ‘Tashari’, is an Iraqi word referring to a shot from a hunting rifle which is scattered in several directions. Iraqis use it as a symbol of loss and being dispersed across the globe. As a way of combating the dispersal of his own family, one of the characters, Alexander, constructs a virtual graveyard online, where he buries the family dead and allots to each person scattered across the globe his/her own personal plot.

95

2014S

Lā sakākīn fī maṭābiḫ hāḏihī ’l-madīna (“No Knives in this City's Kitchens”)

§ Dār al-ʿAyn

Ḫālid Ḫalīfa (Khaled Khalifa)

v BA in Law from U Aleppo; + successful screenplays for TV & cinema, regular contributor to newspapers. In Praise of Hatred (2006) on ShL IPAF2008

m

1964

50

SYR

is a profound exploration of the mechanics of fear and disintegration over half a century. Through the story of one Syrian family, it depicts a society living under tyranny with stifled aspirations. The family realise that all their dreams have died and turned into rubble, just as the corpse of their mother has become waste material they must dispose of in order to continue living. Written with shocking perception and exquisite language, from the very beginning this novel makes its readers ask fundamental questions and shows how regimes can destroy Arab societies, plundering lives and wrecking dreams. Khaled Khalifa writes about everything which is taboo in Arab life, with a particular focus on Syria. No Knives in this City's Kitchens is a novel about grief, fear and the death of humanity.

96

2014S

Taġrībat al-ʿAbdī al-mašhūr bi-Walad al-Ḥamriyya (“The Journeys of 'Abdi, known as Son of Hamriya”)

§ Africa East

ʿAbd al-Raḥīm al-Aḥbābī (Abdelrahim Lahbibi)

v left hometown Safi for Fez in 1967, there BA ArabLang from College of Arts & HumSc (1970); teacher of ArabLang & Lit 1970-82, school inspector, curriculum co-ordinator (1984>)

m

1950

64

MOR

A researcher stumbles across a manuscript and attempts to edit it, to make it into a doctoral thesis. Entitled The Journeys of 'Abdi, the manuscript is an account of one man’s journeys from Morocco to the Hijaz in Saudi Arabia in search of knowledge, written in the manner of Moroccan intellectuals such as Ibn Khaldun. ’Abdi’s journey turns into an examination of Arabic and Muslim society, with ’Abdi emphasising the need for Arabs to learn from Europe in order to achieve social progress. Split into two, The Journeys of  'Abdi, known as Son of Hamriya follows both ’Abdi’s search for knowledge as well as the narrator’s attempts to edit his manuscript.

97

2014S

al-Fīl al-azraq (“The Blue Elephant”)

§ Dār al-Šurūq

Aḥmad Murād (Ahmed Mourad)

v studied cinematography at the Higher Institute for Cinema in Cairo. 1st novel, Vertigo (2007), made into TV series (Ramadan 2012)

m

1978

36

EG

After five years of self-imposed isolation, Doctor Yahya returns to work at the Abbasiya Psychiatric Hospital in Cairo, where there is a surprise in store for him. In ‘West 8’, the department in charge of determining the mental health of patients who have committed crimes, he meets an old friend who reminds him of a past he is desperately trying to forget. Suddenly finding his friend's fate in his hands, Yahya's life is turned upside down, with one shocking turn of events following another. What begins as an attempt to find out the true mental condition of his friend becomes an enthralling journey to discover himself, or what is left of him.

98

2014W

Frānkinštāyn fī Baġdād (“Frankenstein in Baghdad”)

§ Al-Jamal

Aḥmad Saʿdāwī (Ahmed Saadawi)

v novelist, poet, screenwriter, documentary film maker

m

1973

41

IRQ

Hadi al-Attag lives in the populous al-Bataween district of Baghdad. In the Spring of 2005, he takes the body parts of those killed in explosions and sews them together to create a new body. When a displaced soul enters the body, a new being comes to life. Hadi call it ‘the-what's-its-name’; the authorities name it ‘Criminal X’ and others refer to it as ‘Frankenstein’. Frankenstein begins a campaign of revenge against those who killed it, or killed the parts constituting its body. As well as following Frankenstein’s story, Frankenstein in Baghdad follows a number of connected characters, such as General Surur Majid of the Department of Investigation, who is responsible for pursuing the mysterious criminal and Mahmoud al-Sawadi, a young journalist who gets the chance to interview Frankenstein. Frankenstein in Baghdad offers a panoramic view of a city where people live in fear of the unknown, unable to act in solidarity, haunted by the unknown identity of the criminal who targets them all.

99

2015L

Baʿīdan min al-ḍawḍāʾ, qarīban min al-sikāt (“Far from Clamour, Close to Silence”)

§ Le Fennec

Muḥammad Barrāda (Mohammed Berrada)

v writer and critic, PhD from FR in Criticism and LitSociology; ShSt, novels, LitCrit; currently living in Brussels, Belgium.

m

1938

77

MOR

Looking back over the 50 years that have passed since Moroccan independence, four characters from different generations review their lives. Far from Clamour, Close to Silence’s young hero, Raji, is unemployed, until a historian asks him to canvass people’s views about Morocco's future. Raji is inspired to write a novel about three different people who, coming from different generations, represent the hopes, ideals and disappointments of three different eras in Moroccan history: pre-independence, post-independence and contemporary Morocco. And so he tells the story of Tawfiq al-Sadiqi, born in 1930s, a lawyer called Falih al-Hamzawi and a psychiatrist, Nabiha Sama'an, born in the 1950s

100

2015L

Ġarīqat buḥayrat Mūrīh (“Drowning in Lake Morez”)

§ Dār al-Murād

Anṭuwān Duwayhī (Antoine Douaihy)

v novelist and poet, PhD in Anthropology from Sorbonne (1979), in France until mid-1990s; currently Professor of Cultural and Social Anthropology at LU. The Bearer of the Purple Rose on LoL IPAF2014

m

1948

67

LEB

is the story of a couple separated by culture and place. When the narrator, a Lebanese man, falls in love with a French woman, they begin a passionate affair. However their relationship, punctuated by separation, is fraught with difficulties and they struggle to make it work even when they are together. Looking at the larger issue of displacement, the book explores how – in our transitory, modern lifestyle - people often feel caught between different worlds.

101

2015L

Ḥayy al-Amīrikān (“The American Neighbourhood”)

§ Sāqī Books

Ǧabbūr Duwayhī (Jabbour Douaihy)

v a born in Zgharta, NLeb. PhD in CompLit from Sorbonne; works as Professor of FrLit at Univ of LEB. June Rain on ShL IPAF2008, The Vagrant  on ShL IPAF2012.

m

1949

66

LEB

novel about a troubled city during an explosive period of history. It describes two contradictory worlds existing side-by-side within a single Lebanese city, Tripoli. The first: the poor, sprawling so-called American district of Bab al-Tebbeneh, from which many jihadis are recruited and sent to Iraq to fight the Americans. The second: the rich and powerful Al Azzam family’s splendid home in an elite district. / Intisar, who comes from the American district, works for the Al Azzams and has a good relationship with her employers, suggesting that the two worlds can exist peacefully side-by-side. However, she becomes terrified when her son Ismail disappears and it transpires that he has been recruited for a suicide mission in Iraq. Although he abandons his mission at the last minute, Ismail finds himself trapped on return to the city and he finds himself turning to the Al Azzam family for protection.

102

2015L

Lā taqṣuṣ ruʾyāk (“Don't Tell Your Nightmare!”)

§ al-Markaz al-ṯaqāfī al-ʿarabī

ʿAbd al-Wahhāb al-Ḥamādī (Abdel Wahab al-Hamadi)

v works for a petrochemical company, runs a tourism company specialising in historical tours; writes for Al-Qabas and the (electronic) Sabr

m

1979

36

KU

takes place in Kuwait and gives a glimpse of the shadowy sectarianism and racism of Kuwaiti society just before the Arab Spring. It also reveals the illegal torture happening behind the scenes in detention camps. / Bassam, a young man from a respectable family, is disturbed by nightmares of a man begging for help because someone is trying to kill him. Whilst picking apart the meaning of his dream, the story also picks apart Bassam's relationships: with a lover who disappeared, to his relationship with his best friend, and with the Sheikh who interprets dreams. The more progress he makes in his attempts to find the girl or interpret the dream, the more unclear things become. Events come to a head when he is struck down by a fever and then wakes to find a message on his phone from the vanished lover, asking him to join her in Beirut.

103

2015L

al-Rāwiyāt (“Female Voices”)

§ Dār Tanwīr, Lebanon

Mahā Ḥasan (Maha Hassan)

v B.A. in Law from U Aleppo, currently living in Paris; writes in both Arabic and French. Umbilical Cord on LoL IPAF2011.

f

1966

49

SYR (kurd)

metafictional novel told through two intertwining stories: the first is the inner monologue of an author writing a novel; the second is the story of the characters she is creating. As both narratives unfold, imagination and reality merge, showing how writing can both liberate and reveal.

104

2015L

Riyām wa-Kafŕ (“Riyam and Kafa”)

§ al-Markaz al-ʿarabī lil-dirāsāt wa’l-našr

Hadya Ḥusayn (Hadia Hussein)

v lives in Canada

f

1956

59

IRQ

an Iraqi seamstress decides to write a novel based on her diaries, giving us an intimate look at the reality of life for women living in Iraq; a world in which they struggle to make their mark while being restricted by values and traditions. The novel, a rich and detailed portrait of the heroine and her family, ultimately deals with the wider dimension of human suffering and the conflict between good and evil.

105

2015L

Inḥirāf ḥādd (“Sharp Turning”)

§ Al-Dār al-Miṣriyya al-Lubnāniyya

Ašraf al-Ḫamāyisī (Ashraf al-Khamaisi)

v editor for Al-Thaqafa Al-Jadida. God's Land of Exile on LoL IPAF2014

m

1967

48

EG

explores questions of life, death, and faith, in a story about a group of passengers who are mysteriously brought together to travel on a speeding minibus. One of the passengers is the prophet Sonallah, a man who has been roaming the planet for thousands of years trying to spread his message. As the group hurtles along the highway towards an almost certain death, Sonallah tries to convince them of his truth – that humanity should strive for immortality in order to rightly represent God.

106

2015L

Grāfīt (“Graphite”)

§