The World Through the Eyes of Angels
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Title Page, Copyright
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This is the story of a child in the forties and fifties of the last century. It is the story of a people in a remote city very far from America, a story of ordinary people in one of the oldest cities in the world, Mosul. It is a city of stone...
Part One: The Mullah
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I was always overjoyed to be released from the one-room Koranic school, where children recited Koranic verses as Mullah Abdul- Hamid’s long yellow bamboo whip hovered, threatening anyone who failed to repeat the verses with complete...
Part Two: Al-Shahdi: The Refuge of the Fearful
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We children disliked going to the Mullah because of the excruciating boredom of repeating the same words over and over again; but we were delighted to go and listen to the marvelous, exciting stories that Sheikh...
Part Three: Miss Khadija and the Carrot
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The first day at school was the most important day of my life because that was the day I began to uncover the secrets of great pictures. On that day I was able to compound my pleasure by learning the names of all the great historical...
Part Four: Selam
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“Run, before the prayer call whisks your father away.” As soon as Mullah Abdul-Hamid uttered these words, I would jump up and start to run. I hardly stopped for a moment, whether before or after I was enrolled...
Part Five: The Ravishing Madeleine
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Madeleine was a rare beauty—a gracefully voluptuous figure, reddish coffee-brown hair, fair skin, and dimples on both cheeks. Her melodious laugh, like the clinking of crystal, had always raised my spirits to the sky. Soaring...
Part Six: To Love Anew
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Sami would join me whenever I passed by my father’s store. I liked him because he would tell me about the strange and enthralling world of the movies. He enjoyed my company because I helped him make toy cars from...
Part Seven: Ghasoub and Ghadban
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Things were moving at a normal pace in our school until the day when the English teacher, Mr. Abdul Alim, exploded the third atom bomb (after Hiroshima and Nagasaki) while...
Part Eight: Hajim and Sabikaand a Long Night of Love
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“Look what he’s done to me!” Sabika said it as she lifted her worn-out dress up to her navel, and for the first time in my life I saw a woman’s pubic area, where the thick black hair lay matted...
Part Nine: Shafaq
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My sister Shafaq lived with us until she was sixteen. Any number of engineers, physicians, and army officers sought her in marriage, but my father preferred that she marry someone who was religious and pious. He chose Qanet...
Part Ten: Shu’a
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They hid normal everyday news from us for no good reason whatsoever. I didn’t find out about Shafaq’s engagement until the day of her wedding, and I didn’t know she was pregnant until her belly was all swollen up and her pregnancy...
Part Eleven: Nour
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It was strange that Shafaq lived all her life and died without her or any of us—me, my sisters, and brothers—knowing that she was not truly our sister. When I passed the third year of middle school...
Part Twelve: Regrets
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I regret two things very much. My first regret is that I was not aware enough back then to record Al-Shahdi’s folk stories about our city, which I have never seen in any book. I failed to write down the unique information...
Page Count: 200
Publication Year: 2011