Stories From the Center of the World by Jordan Elgrably

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Stories From the Center of the World: New Middle East Fiction by Jordan Elgrably
English | 2024 | General Fiction

Short stories from 25 emerging and established writers of Middle Eastern and North African origins, a unique collection of voices and viewpoints that illuminate life in the global Arab/Muslim world.
Stories from the Center of the World gathers new writing from the greater Middle East (or SWANA), a vast region that stretches from Southwest Asia, through the Middle East and Turkey, and across Northern Africa. The 25 authors included here come from a wide range of cultures and countries, including Palestine, Syria, Pakistan, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, and Morocco, to name some.
In “Asha and Haaji,” Hanif Kureishi takes up the cause of outsiders who become uprooted when war or disaster strikes and they flee for safe haven. In Nektaria Anastasiadou’s “The Location of the Soul According to Benyamin Alhadeff,” two students in Istanbul from different classes — and religions that have often been at odds with one another — believe they can overcome all obstacles. MK Harb’s story, “Counter Strike,” is about queer love among Beiruti adolescents; and Salar Abdoh’s “The Long Walk of the Martyrs” invites us into the world of former militants, fighters who fought ISIS or Daesh in Iraq and Syria, who are having a hard time readjusting to civilian life. In “Eleazar,” Karim Kattan tells an unexpected Palestinian story in which the usual antagonists — Israeli occupation forces — are mostly absent, while another malevolent force seems to overtake an unsuspecting family. Omar El Akkad’s “The Icarist” is a coming-of-age story about the underworld in which illegal immigrants are forced to live, and what happens when one dares to break away.

Includes:
Asha and Haaji — HANIF KUREISHI
The Salamander — SARAH ALKAHLY-MILLS
The Suffering Mother of the Whole World — AMANY KAMAL ELDIN
Godshow.com — AHMED NAJI
Nadira of Tlemcen — ABDELLAH TAÏA
My Rebellious Feet — DIARY MARIF
The Afghan and the Persian — JORDAN ELGRABLY
A Dog in the Woods — MALU HALASA
Anarkali, or Six Early Deaths in Lahore — FARAH AHAMED
Buenos Aires of Her Eyes — ALIREZA IRANMEHR
The Location of the Soul According to Benyamin Alhadeff — NEKTARIA ANASTASIADOU
The Cactus — MOHAMMED AL-NAAS
Counter Strike — MK HARB
Raise Your Head High — LEILA ABOULELA
Here, Freedom — DANIAL HAGHIGHI
The Agency — NATASHA TYNES
The Long Walk of the Martyr — SALAR ABDOH
The Burden of Inheritance — MAI AL-NAKIB
Eleazar — KARIM KATTAN
Ride On, Shooting Star — MAY HADDAD
Turkish Delights — OMAR FODA
The Settlement — TARIQ MEHMOOD
The Peacock — SAHAR MUSTAFAH
The Icarist — OMAR EL AKKAD
The Devil’s Waiting List — AHMED SALAH AL-MAHDI

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