The first annotated edition of Syrian writer Nihad Sirees'sThe Silence and the Roar, created for the Arabic language classroom
Al-Samt wa-al-Sakhab (The Silence and the Roar) is an award-winning novella by Syrian author Nihad Sirees. This edition—abridged and in the original Arabic with vocabulary aids, reading questions, and supplementary materials—introduces intermediate and advanced Arabic language students to the world of contemporary Arab literature.
In Al-Samt wa-al-Sakhab, Sirees weaves an Orwellian tale of freedom, love, and resistance amid a backdrop of bureaucracy and despotism. Fathi Sheen is a writer living in an unnamed Middle Eastern country whose work has been silenced by the ruling government and its despotic leader. On the twentieth anniversary of the regime, Fathi decides to leave the roar of the parade snaking its way through the city and visit his mother and his girlfriend, but when he stops to help a student being beaten by the police, his ID is confiscated. With no choice but to report to the police station, Fathi fights to stay sane against the oppressive—and increasingly absurd—state bureaucracy. This political satire, originally published in 2004 but no less relevant to our times, shows how to remain free even in captivity.
In this abridged and annotated edition for the Arabic language classroom, editor Hanadi Al-Samman includes a historical and cultural preface in Arabic, a biography of Sirees, footnotes for vocabulary aid, and pre- and postreading questions and activities to guide students through the book's literary concepts and to teach literary analysis skills. An interview with Sirees and excerpt readings in his voice are available on the publisher's website. Authorized by Sirees, this edition preserves the author's original style while making the novella easy to use in the classroom or to read independently.