Dates on My Fingers: An Iraqi Novel (Modern Arabic Literature)

Saleem, uninterested with the entire violence, religiosity, and strict relatives hierarchies of his Iraqi village, flees to Spain to set up a brand new existence for himself. yet his lonely exile is grew to become the other way up while he encounters his father, Noah, in a Madrid nightclub after now not seeing him in additional than a decade. Noah seems to be and acts like a brand new guy, and Saleem units out to find the secret of his father's presence in Spain and his altered existence. In doing so, he remembers formative moments in Iraq of familial love, battle, and the haunting unintended dying of his cousin Aliya, Saleem's associate within the hesitant, smooth exploration of sexuality. while the renewed courting along with his father erupts in a violent clash, Saleem is pressured to rediscover his experience of self and the hard-won balance of his existence. via Saleem's stories and reflections, the fast moving narrative incorporates the reader among Spain and Iraq to a stunning resolution.

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I used to visit my father’s grave and cry over him there. i'd recite the Qur’an for him to reassure him that I nonetheless had all of it memorized, simply as he had sought after. i might whisper to him, conversing with him, asking him questions, and feeling that he was once answering me. i might ensure the covenant that I had made with him and my dedication to every thing he sought after from me, specially my oath of vengeance. And could you think that I didn’t dare examine his gravestone, both? as an alternative, i might rub it with my hand after which kiss my palm. And while i might go away i might listen his voice calling me: ‘Listen, Noah! ’ He might repeat his well-known announcing, and the mountain could echo it again: ‘If a puppy barks at you, don’t bark at it; but when it bites you, chew it again! … chunk it again! … it again! … it again! … again! … again! ’ “I was once clear of my task in Kirkuk for greater than months. whilst I went, aspiring to supply my resignation, I realized they had fired me for being long past goodbye and had appointed another person. They gave me the remainder of the money that I had earned besides a superb severance cost. “Then I went to my Kurdish pal, Kaka Azad, a guy of significant wealth or even higher sorrow. My dating with him had develop into very robust in the course of my years of operating there, provided that I used to visit his eating place to shop my property and confide my secrets and techniques. He might usually take me to his residence, the place he lived by myself. we'd stay awake overdue, and that i may spend the evening there. within the morning, he may drop me off at paintings in his automobile. “Azad has an extended and sour tale too. To make a protracted tale brief, the govt. had killed his kinfolk and destroyed his village. He came across it completely demolished while he back from one of many journeys that he used to take to Iran and Turkey, smuggling either items and folks. So he too swore to take revenge. He doctored his id card and settled in Kirkuk after beginning an impressive eating place there. He used it to determine what used to be occurring and get with reference to males in strength, whom he might lead on steadily till they poured out info to him approximately themselves and what they knew. Azad could cross this data directly to the rebels within the mountains. He may additionally use it to devise his personal schemes. “I used to speak with Azad approximately every thing, and our friendship deepened to the purpose of brotherhood. With an oath at the Qur’an, we pledged our brotherhood to one another one sunrise on the prayer area of interest in a mosque, and we every one gave our new brother a hair from our mustaches. I don’t deny that during doing so i used to be nonetheless imitating my father in that he took a Kurd as his brother. Do you keep in mind? Sheikh Abd al-Shafi, the single we visited for Istabraq’s remedy. “My brother Azad taught me a lot. in the event that your grandfather nourished my blood with the basic that means of values equivalent to dignity, manliness, and solid morals, Azad poured them into my bones like cement and taught me tips to perform them with a company center. He taught me the tension of stubbornness. He might devote every one operation he undertook to the soul of 1 member of his kin, and whilst he had reached the final one, he might begin over, within the related order, dedicating extra operations to them.

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