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.

book cover

English Translation of an Excerpt of Rabai’ Al- Madhoun’s Novel “The Lady Is From Tel Aviv” ترجمة قطعة من رواية ربعي المدهون السيدة من تل أبيب

Literary, Translations, Uncategorized

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Walid Dahman’s Story

Tomorrow morning Walid Dahman arrives in the Gaza Strip. His mother does not believe the news, considers it a rumor, a myth, just like the Palestinians’ return to their land.

Every morning she asks,”I wonder if my son will return, if I’ll see him before I die so I can tell him all that I’ve kept from him and he can tell me all I haven’t heard”. She’s been asking that question over and over again for 38 years. She listens carefully to the whispers of the wind and the echo of the question. She gathers her disappointment and folds it with the bedsheets. And in the evening, she goes to bed with the disappointment and wakes to the question. When Walid called her, she almost heard his voice in London, “I’m coming to Gaza… I’m coming back home”. She didn’t believe him. She became fevered and trembled at the surprise,”What would bring you back after being away for so long?”.

Walid arrives at around nine. His visit is no longer an idea or merely a possibility. He had bought a ticket to Tel Aviv, picked his time of arrival so he could be at his mother’s at that exact time so that they could have breakfast together. He said she’d been preparing it for 38 years and it is time to have that meal.

He carried his big suitcase, hung a smaller bag on his left shoulder, put his British passport in the his shirt pocket, right where his heart is. He closed the door behind him and left.