10 Best Arabic Books Everyone Should Read During Quarantine
Reading is one of the finest ways to immerse yourself in a story and get to the depth of it. It also has a huge impact on shaping up your life and what path you're going to go in the future. Reading doesn't just make you smart but also enhances the power of storytelling, analytical thinking, and self-development.
What we have here today is a list of Arabic Books that aren't just stories but the journeys and experiences of persons. The stories also showcase the difficulties they face in societies and how the world isn't always fair to everyone.
"That's the thing about books, they let you travel without moving your feet".
1. Passage To The Plaza
Written by Sahar Khalifeh, this groundbreaking story is about shattering the myths of a uniform gendered conflict witnessed through the eyes of the women. Sarah has written some classic like My First Love and "Bab Al-Saha" which was awarded the Best 105 Novels of the 20th century.
2. Book Of Sleep
Haytham El Wardany's Book of Sleep is a book based on the idea of hope. It is set in the backdrop of contemporary Egypt and portrays the time of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. The author describes the sociological and psychological world with a touch of Sufism and the perspective about the effect of sleep in our lives.
3. The Magnificent Conman Of Cairo
Originally published in 1942 by Adel Kamel, this Egyptian classic was reissued and translated in 2014 by Waleed Almusharaf with a foreword by Naguib Mahfouz. The magnificent Conman of Cairo is an extraordinary story of corrupt and class-divided portrayed by vivid characters in the unstructured society. It is also about how rich people have their own world and the poor do not exist in it.
4. Chicago by Alaa-Al-Aswany
Egyptian author Alaa-Al-Aswany wrote the novel Chicago and was published in Arabic in the year 2007. The plot revolves around Egyptian students who are doing their post-graduation in Chicago face racism from fellow students, the conflict between Arabs and western culture after 9/11, and the corruption in the Egyptian regime. It also showcases differences of opinion in politics, sex, and money.
5. The Story of Zahara by Hanan El Shaykh
The Story of Zahara is penned by Lebanese novelist Hanan Al-Shaykh. It is a rich tale about the intoxication and provocative nature of a young woman who finds solace neither in Africa nor in her own city Beirut, which is being torn apart by war. It also depicts her journey to adulthood, the abuses women face every day, and how her ambiguous nature puts her in a position of sexual trauma. An interesting account of the Lebanon war from a females perspective.
6. Azazeel by Youssef Zeidan
Winning the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Youssef Ziedan's controversial novel Azazeel is infused with history and intellectualism. It highlights the fundamental questions about the role of religion in societies, the influence of corruption, hypocrisy, and lack of sense of religious beliefs. It is a thought-provoking masterpiece and the one that will change the way you think.
7. The American Granddaughter by Inaam Kachachi
The 2008 novel by Iraqi journalist is the story of a young American-Iraqi woman, Zeina. The American dream of owning a big house, car, six-figure salary, and moving her brother to Rehab forces her to move to Iraq as an interpreter for the US Army. Little did she know that she was contributing to the cause of America's occupation of Iraq when all she thought was that she was freeing her country from Dictatorship. The plot has more twists and Zeina begins to question all her values.
8. The Doves Necklace by Raja Alem
Raja Alem is the first woman to win the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2011 for her novel The Doves Necklace. It is a profound work of art and depicts the struggle and pressure women face on a daily basis. An unidentified and disfigured female dead body is found naked in the Lane of Many Heads, an alley in the modern-day Mecca, and nobody claims it. So, the search to solve the mystery begins. This brilliant, thrilling work of literature is not to be missed.
9. The lady from Tel Aviv by Rabai Al-Mahdoun
A stiff story of love, forfeiture, and inseparability. The Lady From Tel Aviv is a story about two passengers who cross paths while returning to their home after thirty years and learning how things have changed beyond all measure across the border. The literature also tackles themes such a Palestinian exile, occupation, and homecoming.
10. Torab El Mas by Ahmed Mourad
A suspenseful thriller that sees the life-changing for Taha when he finds himself in a mysterious murder. His dull daily routine life transforms into an action-filled movie in this thrilling story.