Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Syracuse University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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This translation would not have been possible if it were not for the support offered by so many people. I thank Dr. Nazik Saba Yared for trusting me with her novel and for making herself available for any questions throughout this project. Many thanks to Dr. John DuVal, my MFA director, for his...
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Huda set up her camera, steadying it on the tripod. She estimated the distance to the church, adjusted the lens, and put on a filter just right for the sunny April day. Then she pressed the button, turned her camera a little bit, and pressed again. Pointing the lens upward, she pressed a third time...
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âAre you done with your breakfast?â Huda asked when Dina pushed her plate away. âAre you full?â âYes . . . so whatâs this nice surprise youâve arranged for today?â Dina asked. âDid you finish your homework? Until you do, Iâm not going to tell you anything.â Dina looked at her, puzzled. âI told you yesterday I finished everything...
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Sharif al-Mukhtar parked his car and turned off the engine. He opened the door for his companion, and they got out. Sharif walked slowly, and the other man followed him. Then they stood contemplating the view before them. Neither one said anything...
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Huda and Dina arrived home. As usual, the power was out, and as usual Dina complained. âCouldnât you find an apartment on a lower floor?â Huda said nothing. She climbed the stairs slowly, thinking about Ahmad. Was it Martyrsâ Square that made her think of him? Was it Dinaâs griping...
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They were at the table having lunch. Huda was afraid her daughter might have been put off, that she would hesitate before agreeing to spend another weekend with her, that she would rather spend her weekends with friends her own age, listening to modern music or window-shopping at...
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Sharif opened his eyes, rubbed them, and looked at his watch. âAre you up, dear?â His mother was standing at the door, holding a tray with his usual postnap cup of coffee. âIs Dina back?â âNo, not yet.â She put his cup on the end table next to his bed and sat in the chair across from him, hoping he would tell her about his day, his work, his colleagues...
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Huda was in her office preparing questions for the monthly exams when a soft knock interrupted her train of thought. When she opened the door, a pale, skinny young man dressed in faded shirt and jeans stood before her. He hesitated. âIs this Dr. Halim Nasserâs office?â âIt used to be. He moved the day before yesterday.â...
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Umm Sharif opened the door for her. A cold welcome. No smile. Was it to make Huda feel neglectful of her daughter? Was it because her motherin- law held her responsible for wrecking her sonâs house? Huda had never forgotten her husbandâs blame whenever he came home after visiting his mother:...
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Ten days later, Dina got better and went back to school. âDo I pick you up on Friday so you can come sleep over?â Huda couldnât hide the excitement and hope in her voice. She could hear her heartbeats as she waited for her daughterâs answer on the phone. Could their conversation...
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Sunday afternoon Huda dropped Dina off at her fatherâs house. That same evening she called him. âSharif, I have to see you tomorrow. Itâs very important.â âI canât tomorrow,â he said coldly. âI have a commitment.â He didnât ask what she wanted or why it was urgent. âAll right then, the day after tomorrow.â...
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Huda ran to the phone that sheâd heard ringing even before putting her key in the door. âHello? Huda?â The voice sounded familiar. âYes,â Huda said. âWho is this?â âGuess who? Itâs an old friend.â Who could it be? She knew the voice, but hadnât heard it in a while. âHaifa?â Huda asked hesitantly...
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May. Summer was at the door. Huda was in the dressing room trying on a blouse she had picked to go with her floral skirt. âHow do you like this dress?â It was Dinaâs voice! Hudaâs arm froze, outside of the sleeve. Who was Dina talking to? âI donât like the color. I like dark colors.â...
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Najwa hadnât missed a single employment ad. For three months, sheâd been buying different papers, filling out dozens of applications, and making dozens of phone calls. All of it was useless. âThe countryâs going through an economic crisis,â her mother said. âJust be patient,â her sister said, trying to encourage her. âThingsâll start...
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When Dina got home from school at three, she was relieved that her father was, as usual, there. âDad, you want to have a snack with me?â she asked after putting her books in her room. Sharif looked at his watch. âIâll sit with you for fifteen minutes,â he said...
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At eight on the dot, Najwa was at the door of the medical laboratory. It was shut, so she rang the bell and waited. She didnât hear anything. She rang again and waited. Nothing. She reread the opening hours posted on the door, 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and stood waiting. Finally, she heard...
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When Dina arrived home from school, Sharif was there, but he was about to leave. âAre you leaving?â Dina asked, inspecting his clean, ironed shirt, his stylish suit, his shiny shoes. âI have an appointment, dear,â he said and kissed her forehead. She took a...
Page Count: 144
Publication Year: 2009