Yaffa cover, nibal qundos

Translated Excerpt from Nibal Qundos’ Novel “Yafa: A Story of Absence and Rain”


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We’re going deeper into Autumn. It seems winter’s coming early this year, fortunately for those of us whom rain brings so much joy; earthly beings that come alive with rain, their hearts fluttering. In thinking of happiness, I think about visiting Yafa on the first rainy day. She might open her door to me in the winter. Maybe she’ll need some company, someone to sit with in front of the fireplace on rainy evening.

Rain makes us more fragile,  more needing to confess.Its droplets tapping on our windows and pouring yearning into our hearts, make us in more need of a friend or a lover to share the craziness of dancing  under the rain with and walking for hours tirelessly. How beautiful it is to reward ourselves with a warm cup of coffee from an old coffee shop that still believes in the necessity of playing Fairouz in the early morning and to watch from behind glass windows the passersby in their winter coats and hats and others seeking shelter beneath their umbrellas. Those umbrellas whose existence I still think is silly.There is nothing more beautiful than the patter of rain drops  on our heads, grown tired by the summer and longing for a warm moment, like someone  wrapping you in their coat, holding your cold hands and breathing some warmth into them.

In My Heart Is A Jewish Girl (Pt.3)

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

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I was born to a Jewish mother and a Muslim father… Perhaps my father didn’t practice his religion much, but he’s a Muslim nonetheless.My mother, on the other hand, is from a conservative Jewish family that places an importance on practicing the religion and its rites. They met in Tunisia, where my family is from, fell in love and got married despite their families’ opposition. Strangely, their marriage didn’t last long. They fought a lot and ended up getting a divorce after my sister, Dana, and I were born.

The Kite Runner Book Cover

The Kite Runner Arabic Translation

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

Chapter One
December 2001

I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975. I remember the precise moment, crouching behind a crumbling mud wall, peeking into the alley near the frozen creek. That was a long time ago, but it’s wrong what they say about the past, I’ve learned, about how you can bury it. Because the past claws its way out. Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into that deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.

One day last summer, my friend Rahim Khan called from Pakistan. He asked me to come see him. Standing in the kitchen with the receiver to my ear, I knew it wasn’t just Rahim Khan on the line. It was my past of unatoned sins. After I hung up, I went for a walk along Spreckels Lake on the northern edge of Golden Gate Park. The early-afternoon sun sparkled on the water where dozens of miniature boats sailed, propelled by a crisp breeze. Then I glanced up and saw a pair of kites, red with long blue tails, soaring in the sky. They danced high above the trees on the west end of the park, over the windmills, floating side by side like a pair of eyes looking down on San Francisco, the city I now call home. And suddenly Hassan’s voice whispered in my head: For you, a thousand times over. Hassan the harelipped kite runner.

I sat on a park bench near a willow tree. I thought about something Rahim Khan said just before he hung up, almost as an afterthought. There is a way to be good again. I looked up at those twin kites. I thought about Hassan. Thought about Baba. Ali. Kabul. I thought of the life I had lived until the winter of 1975 came along and changed everything. And made me what I am today.

الفصل الأول

ديسمبر ٢٠٠١


أصبحت الشخص الذي أنا هو اليوم في يومٍ غائم قارس البرودة في شتاء عام ١٩٧٥ حين كنت في الثانية عشر من عمري. أذكر تلك اللحظة.  كنت مقرفصاً وراء حائط طيني يكاد ينهار.أختلس النظر إلى الزقاق بقرب البحيرة المتجمدة. لقد مرّ زمن طويل على ذلك اليوم ولكنني تعلمت أنه لا يمكننا دفن الماضي كما يقولون لأنه يتسلل من بين ثنايا الدهر.أدرك الآن أنني  كنت أختلس النظر إلى ذلك الزقاق المهجور طوال السنوات الستة والعشرين الماضية

اتصل بي صديقي رحيم خان في الصيف الماضي من باكستان وطلب مني أن آتي لأراه.  وأنا واقف في المطبخ والهاتف على أذني علمت بأنه لم يكن رحيم وحده فقط من ينتظرني على الجانب الآخر بل الماضي المليء بالسيئات التي لم أكفرعنها. بعد إنهاء المكالمة ذهبت لأتمشى عند بحيرة سبركلز في الجانب الشمالي من حديقة غولدن غيت. لمعت أشعة الشمس في ساعة الظهر الباكرعلى سطح الماء حيث أبحرت عشرات القوارب الصغيرة التي تدفعها نسمة هواء منعشة. نظرت إلى الأعلى ورأيت طائرتين ورقيتين لونهما أحمرذو ذيل أزرق طويل محلقتين في السماء. لوحتا عالياً فوق الشجرات في الجانب الغربي من الحديقة وفوق طواحين الهواء وطارتا جنباً إلى جنب كعينين تنظران من الأعلى على سان فرانسيسكوحيث أعيش الآن. وفجأة  همس في ذهني صوت حسن عدّاء الطائرات الورقية ذو الشفة الأرنبية:  لأجلك، لقمت بذلك ألف مرة

جلست في الحديقة على مقعد بجانب شجرة صفصاف. فكرت بما قاله رحيم خان قبل إنهاء المكالمة كأن الكلمات خطرت في ذهنه عندها فقط. هناك فرصة لتكن شخصاً جيداً ثانيةً. نظرت إلى الطائرتين التوأمين. فكرت بحسن. فكرت ببابا.علي. كابول. فكرت بالحياة التي عشتها حتى جاء شتاء ١٩٧٥ وغيّر كل شيء. وجعلني من أنا اليوم