He had said he enjoyed the material aspect of writing, the physicality of ink and the slow movement of pen on paper. He never did like technology, was always so mistrustful of it. Against her better judgement, she picked up the diary and opened it to the final page. In his neat handwriting, she read the last entry, dated one day before he died:. There is an oral tradition of grandparents passing on their stories of Palestine, which helps keep Palestine alive.
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But is it not too much of a stretch for them to have figured out how to use these stories to imprison us? Sooner or later, the ugly ones begin to seep in too…. The heaviness returned, the choking sensations. She closed the diary and stumbled out of the room.
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Closing the door behind her, she made her way to the bathroom. She examined her tired face in the mirror, marvelled once again at the disappearance of the large gash on her forehead. She turned on the faucet and began to brush her teeth. It took a moment to register the gritty sensation of dirt and the taste of soil on her tongue.
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She spat the toothpaste out. She noticed the water coming out of the tap: sandy brown, bursting out of the faucet in exhausted sputters, leaving light brown splotches on the white porcelain sink. Her father emerged from his bedroom, half-asleep. Her father followed her into the bathroom. She had left the tap running, but now only crystal-clear water ran through. Ziad appeared in her dreams again that night. They were sitting in a clearing on top of a mountain. She recognised the view: they were in the spot where that photograph was taken, of the four of them on Mount Carmel. Ziad spoke in a slow and assured way as he picked at the blades of grass by his bare feet.
You would never think that we are hurtling through the universe at a crazy speed. You know what they taught us in history books. That stuff, about how we liberated Palestine, how the occupation is over now? They have all these technologies And Gaza — our home — is like a laboratory for all that experimentation. Look around. We are free. Ziad snorted. We are trapped in the rose-tinted memories of our ancestors. These cached memories wrap themselves around us like a second skin.
Ziad uprooted a blade of grass and began to break it apart into smaller pieces until the blade was nothing but a tiny stub, which he then squashed between his fingers. Aya watched him without saying a word. He appeared furious — it was a rage that far surpassed regular teenage emotions. The anger was darker, deeper than anything she had seen before.
She saw it etched into his features, felt it radiate from his body. She looked at the flower in her palm. She had picked this flower off the ground only moments earlier. Now, examining it more closely in her palm, something appeared strange to her. The dark blue petals reflected the sunlight in a peculiar way. She brought her palm towards her face to get a better look. The bullet rolled out of her palm and fell to the ground with a soft clink. The sound felt so far away.
The world was spinning. You can stay here, cocooned in these memories of a long-lost paradise, or you break free of this prison. If you would like to review the book for the Arab Studies Journal and Jadaliyya, please email info jadaliyya. A bout the Book. A struggling writer walks every inch of the city in search of inspiration, only to find it is much closer than she imagined….
A girl collapses from hunger at the side of the road and is rescued by the most unlikely of saviours In this powerful, debut collection of stories, Rania Mamoun expertly blends the real and imagined to create a rich, complex and moving portrait of contemporary Sudan. About the Author. Praise for Thirteen Months of Sunrise.
Perhaps hers is a care that becomes second nature when living under the threat of government censorship, intimidation and the limits on press freedom that exist in Sudan. It's intense and intimate, and always bordering, with absolute control, on the subversive and erotic. It's also very funny - Rania Mamoun is an extraordinary talent. With mastery, Rania Mamoun reaches straight into the heartbeat of her subject matter, laying bare humanity in all its tenderness and tenacity. He headed to the tap to wash his face and freshen his breathwith minty toothpaste, but discovered the water had beenshut off.
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When had they come? Did they never sleep! But how could he, if paying for water meantnot payingfor something else? He could do without electricity for a month, without water for a month, without a phone for a month. He tried not to givethis trivial, inconsequentialthing the pleasureof spoiling hisgood mood; he overcame it. Cold water cascaded over his body and he felt invigorated.
He wished the day would skip over thenext two hours, cast them aside orreturn to them later. The bathroom door was nothing more than a sheet of zinc with partially patched holes, but it mostly concealed whoever was behind it. He got dressed without rinsing all the soap off his body, and swore that he would replace this corroded piece of zinc they generously called a door.
He madesome tea, adding justa small pinch of sugaras usual. He put his faith in God, praised His name, and went to leave, but…. The front door! What was with the door? It was a double door, and one side was shorter than the other. After a torrentof angry words he finally managed to open the door,with a screech heard by half of the neighbourhood. He looked down, and saw that theright sleeve of his freshly pressed shirt wasnow completely wrinkled. But… no matter.
He tried to smooth the fabric with his other hand and kept walking. As soon as the driver stopped speaking, the man felt himself being pushed by many hands and a struggle began. Finally the bus arrived at the station. He pried himself from the crowd and sped off towards the office. Only when he arrived did he realise that the bus door had snagged his shirt. He tore off the flap of fabric and kept walking in his ripped shirt. He went over it in his mind. No one will notice the tear , he convinced himself.
He would try to stand so that no one could seeit,and would buy a new shirt in a few days. He entered the office owned by a certain businessman. Hewas one of those men who appeared on the scenequite suddenly: rich, with an unknown past. All anyone knew was that he was a businessman.
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