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International Education Week 2022: Middle East

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

A Thousand Splendid Suns

by Khaled Hosseini | Afghanistan

A Thousand Splendid Suns is a breathtaking story set against the volatile events of Afghanistan's last thirty years -- from the Soviet invasion to the reign of the Taliban to post-Taliban rebuilding -- that puts the violence, fear, hope and faith of this country in intimate, human terms. It is a tale of two generations of characters brought jarringly together by the tragic sweep of war, where personal lives -- the struggle to survive, raise a family, find happiness -- are inextricable from the history playing out around them. Mariam and Laila are born a generation apart but are brought together by war and fate. Together they endure the dangers surrounding them and discover the power of both love and sacrifice.

Quixotiq by Ali Al Saeed


by Ali al Saeed | Bahrain

As two men go through a series of mysterious and bizarre events, their lives take dramatic turns that lead them to new revelations about their past, present and future. They somehow find their fates connected by some mystic, unfathomable power.

The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

The Complete Persepolis

by Marjane Satrapi | Iran

Persepolis is the story of Marjane Satrapi's childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming -- both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland.

We are Iran by Nasrin Alavi

We are Iran: The Persian Blogs

by Nasrin Alavi | Iran

There are 64,000 blogs in Farsi, and the author has painstakingly reviewed them all, weaving the most powerful and provocative into a striking picture of the flowering of dissent in Iran.

The Corpse Exhibition and Other Stories of Iraq

by Hassan Blasim | Iraq

The first major literary work about the Iraq War from an Iraqi perspective, The Corpse Exhibition shows us the war as we have never seen it before. Here is a world not only of soldiers and assassins, hostages and car bombers, refugees and terrorists, but also of madmen and prophets, angels and djinni, sorcerers and spirits.

An Iraqi in Paris by Samuel Shimon

An Iraqi in Paris

by Samuel Shimon | Iraq

Providentially leaving Iraq just before Saddam Hussein installs himself as President, the Assyrian boy dreams of becoming a Hollywood film-maker after his hero John Ford, but after arrest and torture in Syria - accused of being a Jewish spy on account of his name, similar treatment in Jordan, and escaping execution in Lebanon by armed militia, he eventually lands up on the streets of Paris, where he meets up with Jean Valjean and tries to escape his fate as a homeless refugee with wit, humour and amorous adventures, all the while writing the story of his childhood, his deaf-mute father Kika, and film buff Kiryakos.

Late for Tea at the Deer Palace by Tamara Chalabi

Late for Tea at the Deer Palace : The Lost Dreams of my Iraqi Family

by Tamara Chalabi | Iraq

Relates the author's entrance into Iraq in 2003, ten days after the fall of Baghdad, to investigate the rich history of her family, who held a privileged place in Iraqi society until the 1950s, when they were forced to flee.

Falling out of Time by David Grossman

Falling Out of Time

by David Grossman | Israel

Tells the story of bereaved parents setting out to reach their lost children. It begins in a small village, in a kitchen, where a man announces to his wife that he is leaving, embarking on a journey in search of their dead son. The man -- called simply Walking Man -- paces in ever-widening circles around the town. One after another, all manner of townsfolk fall into step with him (the Net-Mender, the Midwife, the Elderly Math Teacher, even the Duke), each enduring his or her own loss. The walkers raise questions of grief and bereavement.

Time of White Horses by Ibrahim Nasrallah

Time of White Horses

by Ibrahim Nasrallah | Jordan

This comi-tragic fictional-factual saga takes place in the environs of Jerusalem, from late Ottoman times to the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. A vivid picture of Palestinian villagers' preoccupations and aspirations--their ties to their land, to their animals, and to one another. Relives the realities of the Palestinian village in the early twentieth century, Zionist colonization and its impact on Arab rural life, the trauma that accompanied the British mandate and its aftermath, the Palestinians' struggle to maintain the autonomy and dignity they had known for centuries on end, and the beginnings of life under the Zionist state.

Invasion Kuwait by Jehan Rajab

Invasion Kuwait : An English Woman's Tale

by Jehan Rajab | Kuwait

The author chronicles her fight to preserve normality in the face of persecution and to save the Tareq Rajab Museum, her workplace, from destruction.

Always Coca-Cola by Alexandra Chreiteh

Always Coca-Cola

by Alexandra Chreiteh | Lebanon

A novel about the simmering tension between tradition and modernity as experienced by young middle-class Lebanese women.

A Balcony Over the Fakihani : Three Novellas

by Liyana Badr | Lebanon

The title story of Liyana Badr's remarkable collection of three short novellas interweaves the narratives of three Palestinians, two women and one man, relating their successive uprootings: from Palestine in 1948, from Jordan during Black September in 1970, to their final exile in Beirut.

Beirut Blues

by Hanan al-Shaykh | Lebanon

The daring fragmented structure of this epistolary novel mirrors the chaos surrounding the heroine, Asmahan, as she futilely writes letters to her loved ones, to her friends, to Beirut, and to the war itself--letters of lament that are never to be answered except with their own resounding echoes. In Beirut Blues, Hanan al-Shaykh evokes a Beirut that has been seen by few, and that will never be seen again.

Arabic Short Stories

translated by Denys Johnson-Davies | Middle East

There are 24 stories in this volume, each by a different author and rendered into English by one of the finest translators of Arabic fiction. Among the authors represented are Edward El-Kharrat, Bahaa Taher, Alifa Rifaat, and Ghassan Kanafani. Through the eyes of insiders, these stories show us the intimate texture of life throughout the diverse countries and cultures of the Arabic world.

The Smiles of the Saints by Ibrahim Farghali

Smiles of Saints

by Ibrahim Farghali | Oman

Herself the child of a Muslim-Christian marriage, Haneen, in love with a Jewish man, is considering adding a further religious dimension to her family. But someone is carefully watching the proceedings, a figure from the past. Who exactly is this, and what stake does he have in Haneen's return?

Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood

by Ibtisam Barakat | Palestine

In this groundbreaking memoir set in Ramallah during the aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War, Ibtisam Barakat captures what it is like to be a child whose world is shattered by war.

The Corsair by Abdul Aziz Al Mahmoud

The Corsair

by Abdul Aziz Al Mahmoud | Qatar

Set in the early 19th century, this story of high-seas piracy and political intrigue, of unexpected kinship and personal betrayal, portrays the conflicting interests and human drama of these historic events in the Arabian Peninsula.

My Thousand and One Nights by Raja Alem

My Thousand and One Nights

by Raja Alem | Saudi Arabia

In this vanished Mecca, vividly brought to life again in My Thousand & One Nights, women hold center stage - especially Jummo, the wildly passionate daughter of Mohammed al-Baikwaly, the prominent sheik of the Zamzam Water Carriers.

Women of Sand and Myrrh by Hanan Shaykh

Women of Sand and Myrrh

by Hanan Shaykh | Saudi Arabia

A powerful and moving novel about four women coping with the insular, oppressive society of an unnamed desert state.

Modern Syrian Short Stories

translated by Michel G. Azrak | Syria

This collection of short stories, which includes an introduction by the editor, appeared in 1988 - before the present catastrophe in Syria.

Sarmada by Fadi Azzam


by Fadi Azzam | Syria

The novel is set in the Druze area and is a declaration of love for tolerance and for the peaceful coexistence of the many religious groups that live in close proximity.

Sand Fish by Maha Gargash

The Sand Fish

by Maha Gargash | United Arab Emirates

Set in the 1950s in what is today Dubai, "The Sand Fish" is the story of a young woman from the mountains who is sent away from her family to become the third wife of a rich and much older pearl merchant.

A Land Without Jasmine by Wajdi al-Ahdal

A Land without Jasmine

by Wajdi al-Ahdal | Yemen

Under the watchful eyes of the men in her community the beautiful, virtuous Jasmine goes about her daily business, keeping to herself and avoiding the male gaze at all costs. That is until one Valentine's Day, when this beguiling creature vanishes without a trace. As details surrounding her sudden disappearance emerge the mystery deepens. Sexual depravity, honor, obsession... the motives are numerous and the suspects plentiful. It seems that everyone wants a piece of the charming young student. Family, friends, fellow students and nosey neighbours are quick to make their own judgements on the case, but the truth may be far stranger than anyone anticipates.

The Monk of Mokha by Dave Eggers

The Monk of Mokha

by Dave Eggers | Yemen

Mokhtar Alkhanshali is twenty-four and working as a doorman when he discovers the astonishing history of coffee and Yemen's central place in it. He leaves San Francisco and travels deep into his ancestral homeland to tour terraced farms high in the country's rugged mountains and meet beleaguered but determined farmers. But when war engulfs the country and Saudi bombs rain down, Mokhtar has to find a way out of Yemen without sacrificing his dreams or abandoning his people.

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