America in an Arab Mirror: Images of America in Arabic by K. Abdel-Malek, Mouna El Kahla

By K. Abdel-Malek, Mouna El Kahla

This exceptional anthology offers for the 1st time in English trip essays via Arabic writers who've visited the United States within the moment half the century. The view of the US which emerges from those money owed is instantly interesting and illuminating, yet by no means monolithic. The writers hail from a number of viewpoints, areas, and backgrounds, so their descriptions of the USA another way have interaction and revise Arab pre-conceptions of american citizens and the West. the rustic figures as every little thing from the unchanging different, the very antithesis of the Arab self, to the seductive lady, to the opposite who's either praiseworthy and reprehensible.

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His collections of short stories and plays depict the plight of the underprivileged and the conflict between individuals and societal pressures. His Cheapest of Nights (1954), City Dregs (1957), and The Stooges (1964) are among his best works and they have been translated into several foreign languages including English, French, and Russian. His New York 80, excerpted here, is a fictionalized encounter with an American “call girl,” based on his actual visit to the United States in the early 1980s.

She:Then why don’t you leave my bench? He: This is neither yours nor mine, it is owned by the bar, and I have no intention of changing my place. She:Then the problem is that you do not like whores. He: Neither them nor their likes, and not even the ones who accept love for the purpose of being taken out to dinner or given a gift. It is a sad, sad thing; it is the sort of behavior that does not behoove a human being. 40 America in an Arab Mirror He realizes she is using the soft and gentle side of her tongue.

I was sitting here before you. I noticed that once you arrived you searched the place with your glasses, and despite the fact that most of the seats were empty, you chose to sit at the other side of the same bench as me. I also noticed that the three men sitting opposite to me had left the seats next to them empty so as to try to lure you into sitting next to them. I watched you closely, until I could bear it no longer and pitied you. I thanked God for not creating me a woman who was a slave to men.

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