In this post–Arab Spring novel, Ahmad Tarawneh tells the story of conflicting loyalties between two Jordanian brothers, one who serves in the Jordanian national security division, and another who belongs to an extremist militant Islamic group. With boldness, clarity, and an insider’s eye, Tarawneh addresses the root causes and circumstances that lead a desperate young Jordanian to be recruited into a terrorist organization, tempted by the lure of glory purported by a skillful, self-serving sheikh. The novel depicts the positive and negative forces that influence the two brothers in their soul-searching quests for self-actualization that lead to more questions than answers—questions many Arab youth still ask today, while engulfed in their own raging struggles over tradition, religion, modernity, and secularism. Readers find themselves on an intimate journey into the minds and hearts of the protagonists to witness the tragedy and absurdity of this conflict and the magnitude of the human destruction it leaves behind.
In his masterpiece The Cat Who Taught Me How to Fly, Hashem Gharaibeh tells the moving story of a political prisoner during Jordan’s martial law era, which spanned from 1967 to 1989. Gharaibeh defies the taboos of politics, sex, and religion to tell a thrilling and brutally honest story about the horrors and insanities of everyday life in an Arab prison. At once both a novel and an autobiography, the author draws from his own experiences as a Jordanian youth arrested and imprisoned for nearly a decade for his affiliation with the Jordanian Communist Party. The novel uniquely portrays prison culture intertwined with tribal, ideological, and political perspectives to explain both mundane and esoteric aspects of prison life in this time and era, illustrating an experience that is traumatic, humane, and inspiring. A heartwrenching story of learning, survival, and the quest for the freedom of thought is told with powerful defiance and grace, exposing us to human frailty, strength, and one man’s dream to soar beyond the walls of prison, society, and self.
No poet of the twentieth century has captured the experience of Arabic-speaking people in the modern world better than Tayseer al-Sboul. One of Jordan’s most celebrated writers, educated in that country, as well as in Lebanon and Syria, he faced the dilemmas and contradictions of the Arab world during the Cold War years. Caught between tradition and modernity, he dreamed of a great Arab nation. With unflinching courage and brutal honesty, he revealed his life in poems: his family, his connection with his homeland, his rejection of tradition, his flirtation with leftist ideology, his love affairs, his politics, his experience of war and defeat, his inner struggle, his quest for truth. Through al-Sboul’s poems, we understand the struggle of one Arab man to make sense of a world gone mad. Caught between the restrictions of traditional life, the cruelty of war, and the political oppression of the modern Middle East, he was determined to find his own peace, though it proved impossible. After the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict, he lost all hope and took his own life. Featuring facing-page Arabic-English translations, this volume brings al-Sboul’s poetry into English for the first time.
This new volume of Rumi’s works, the first-ever English translation of his Arabic poems, will be exciting for the newcomer to Rumi’s verses as well as to readers already familiar with his mystical philosophy. The poems take the reader on a journey of spiritual exploration, ecstatic union, cruel rejection, and mystic reconciliation. Rumi reveals his soul and welcomes everyone to his spiritual feast.
This dual-language volume opens a treasury of Rumi’s mystic thought and startling poetry. His verses pulsate with desire and longing, with sensuality, and with ecstatic celebration. Rumi found in his mystic poetry a vehicle for the expression of the endless spiritual bounties of love. He placed love at the center of his faith and doctrine, and he pronounced it to be the goal of his life and the only form of true worship. This collection is stunningly rendered in English by an award-winning poet and a distinguished translator of Arabic poetry.
One of the most prominent Arabic novels to document the intricate details of the revolt of the Arabs against the Turks and their collaboration with the English, The Tree Stump brings to life a critical period of history that includes key players such as King Faisal, Odeh Abu Tayeh , and T. E. Lawrence. It places the reader in the heart of that remarkable era with accuracy, authenticity, and an added human dimension that introduces the Arabian Desert people, traditions, and way of life. Author Samiha Khrais weaves tribal customs, religion, politics, and love into a history with characters that actually walked the land, lived on the land, and fought the land’s war of independence with originality, pride, and wisdom. The novel stands witness to the lived experience of many Arabs in the region—experience that can still be seen today. The novel’s style, content, and strong human dimension makes it an exception literary work with regional flavor and global appeal.
Exciting to those unfamiliar with Rumi’s verse as well as to the veteran scholar, this volume, following on Love Is My Savior, offers more of the little-known Arabic poems of Mawlana Rumi. These poems take the reader on a journey of spiritual search, ecstatic union, universal salvation, and mystic reconciliation, in which Rumi reveals his soul and welcomes everyone to his spiritual feast. This dual-language volume, with its informative introduction, is one of the first to bring Rumi’s Arabic poems into English, and it opens a treasury of Rumi’s mystic thought and electrifying poetry. The poems pulsate with desire and longing, with erotic meaning, and with ecstatic celebration. Rumi found in his mystic poetry a vehicle for the expression of the endless spiritual bounties of love. The reader will find, at the center of his faith and doctrine, love and a strong belief in universal salvation and unlimited generosity.
This volume comprises a translation of the first post-modernist historical Arabic novella, You as of Today, by the renowned Jordanian writer Tayseer al-Sboul, and his two short stories “Red Indian” and “The Rooster’s Cry.” “Red Indian” and “The Rooster’s Cry” complement You as of Today by providing, with striking transparency and precision, narratives that examine man’s journey to self-discovery through events that are culturally unique, transparent, and at times shocking. This volume is rich with tales of war, love, politics, censorship, and the search for self in a complex and conflicting Arab world at a critical time in its history. In a captivating style consistent with the nature of events narrated in the text, al-Sboul unveils the inner nature of social, political, and religious patterns of life in Arab society with an honesty and skill that renders You as of Today My Homeland a testimony of human experiences that transcend the boundaries of time and place.