ABDUL RAHMAN MUNIF CITIES OF SALT PDF
Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community. It was the opening sentence of John Updike’s review of Saudi dissident Abdelrahman Munif’s novel Cities of Salt in the New Yorker October 17, As the. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data. Muruf, ‘Abd al-Rabman. [ Mudun al-milh. English]. Cities of salt: a novel/ Abdelrahman Munif; translated from.
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Obituary: Abdul-Rahman Mounif | Books | The Guardian
Set in an unnamed Persian Gulf kingdom in the s, this remarkable novel tells the story of the disruption and diaspora of a poor oasis community following the discovery of oil there. The meeting of Arabs abxul the Americans who, in essence, colonized abeul remote region is a cultural confrontation in which religion, history, superstition, and mutual incomprehension all play Set in an unnamed Persian Gulf kingdom in the s, this remarkable novel tells ctiies story of the disruption and diaspora of a poor oasis community following the discovery of oil there.
The meeting of Arabs and the Americans who, in essence, colonized the remote region is a cultural confrontation in which religion, history, superstition, and mutual incomprehension all play a part. Powerful political fiction that it is, Cities of Salt has been banned in several Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia. The novel, the first volume in a trilogy, has been translated from the Arabic to English by Peter Theroux. Paperbackpages.
Published July 17th by Vintage first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Ctiies of Saltplease sign up. I understand this is the first volume of a trilogy, but I cannot find a translation of the other two. Can it be read as a standalone? I find it hard to finish a book with loose ends, knowing something else comes after but unable to read it. Ahmed Fouadeldin Yes you can, and probably should, also it is a quintet not abduo trilogy yet you can read the first volume as a standalone and I junif you will love it.
As …more Yes you can, and probably should, also it is a quintet not a trilogy yet you can read the first volume as a standalone and I think you will love it.
As for the translation the first three parts only were translated and cites can find them easily online but the last two aren’t.
Cities of Salt
Why city of salt? Lobstergirl From the wikipedia page: When the waters come in, the first waves will dissolve the salt wbdul reduce these great glass cities to dust. In antiquity, as you know, many cities simply disappeared.
It is possible to foresee the downfall of cities that are inhuman. With no means of livelihood they won’t survive. See 2 questions about Cities of Salt…. Lists with This Book. Sep 14, Lobstergirl rated it it was ok Oc it for: Tragic, poignant, boring, interminable.
The premise of this literary historical novel was interesting to me, but I couldn’t seem to get a toehold in the endless telling of it. In s Saudi Arabia the name of the country goes unmentionedthe Americans arrive in order to dig for oil. The small settlement of Wadi al-Uyoun is turned upside down, its oasis, trees, and houses destroyed, its residents forced out. We are introduced to Miteb and his wife and children, who will disappear as other cha Tragic, poignant, boring, interminable.
We are introduced to Miteb and his wife and children, who will disappear as other characters are introduced in episodic fashion. Miteb is driven fairly insane by the destruction of his village, and rides away into the desert on his camel.
Several of his sons think they see him at various times, as do characters later in the novel, but Miteb rahmzn a mirage, a ghost who becomes part of the local folklore. An old woman whose son has left with a caravan several years earlier and helplessly waits for his return, now having lost her home, dies of grief.
Cities of Salt Trilogy : Abd Al-Rahman Munif :
The Arabs and bedouins who go to work constructing the new housing for themselves and the Americans, and the oil pipeline, are portrayed as essentially Stone Age. Their only contact with the outside world is via caravans coming from places like Egypt, Damascus, Basra, and Aleppo. So when they find the Americans reading books, they are alarmed and puzzled by the books. They can’t figure avdul why the books come in all sizes and colors, and why some men carry several, others just one or two.
Why do they change out one book for another? Why do the Arabs see one book many times, but another book just once? Some suspect that the Americans are reading the books in order to gain control of the local people. When they ask what is in the books, they never get the same answer twice.
What do the books have to do with the oil? Why are some of the books history, and others geography? Do the books have to rayman with witchcraft, or just blasphemy?
Many of them have never seen the ocean, and are terrified of it. When boats and oil tankers are seen just offshore, they are frightened. The boats, tankers, and bulldozers are perhaps operated by jinns.
The local emir is given a radio, causing everyone to just about lose their shit and wonder how the tiny man inside making the noise can survive. As the emir watches one of the ships through his telescope and informs others that he can see naked women cavorting on it, “the men’s lewd thoughts erupted and flew over this long distance to reach the ship and touch the women’s bodies clothed like a ball of fire.
Their hearts and eyes were shocked, and they felt an uncontrollable panic. What the emir was saying could not be believed, a man salg not imagine such a thing: How could the men stand to have them walking around and coming near without burning up, without exploding like gunpowder, without sticking saalt like tent pegs into every crevice of those warm, beautiful bodies?
Only two or three of them have names. They are devils and infidels, the women “sluts. Everything about them is wrapped up, layers upon layers, just like the desert under their feet! View all 6 comments. Dec 28, Nikhil rated it it was ok Shelves: It was a struggle to finish. The text explores the rapid changes associated with an unnamed Bedouin society in a backwater of the Arabian peninsula after the state, in conjunction with an unnamed American corporation, pursues oil-based development of the region.
Mainly, the text concerns itself with the ambiguities inherent in development projects and cross-cultural exchanges.
I am certain that there would be those among the traditional societies who were indigent, or ostracized, or subject to rxhman. Certainly something cihies lost and something gained by the development described in the text, but what precisely is lost or gained is explained poorly.
As is the odd lamentations through the second half of the book that the development has only brought ruin to people, from a group of people who are all consuming and earning much more than they were previously. I also found the text unrealistic in its portrayal of the naivety of the natives when it came to new technologies. Presumably the events in this book are taking place after the Second World War. Munir idea that the entirety of this community is so isolated as to be astonished by inventions decades old telephone, radio, etc.
Women are almost entirely absent from the text except as unseen and unheard from sources of labor. Aabdul would have been a useful addition to the text.
Instead we are treated to endless discussions of the various building materials needed to construct myriad buildings in Harran. In sum, I found this book had little to offer. There are better books about the ambiguous or costly nature of development.
There are better books about the false dialectical confrontation between the traditional native and the modern West. And there are better books about the social evolution of the modern Mideast. What then is the value of this text? Very well written, BUT I hated most of it. The novel is presented as documented history of the oil revolution in Saudi. However, coming from third generation family working for the Aabdul oil industry, I think the narratives have been manipulated and do od represent the reality.
The writer depicting all People who welcomed the oil company as greedy and rahmman ruthless people, and that most people hated to change anything about their lives or whatever those foreigners have come to do.
This is not at all true for my region. Mar 07, Caila Prendergast rated it it was ok Shelves: Interesting premise, dull delivery. Too many characters made it hard to follow. Dec 06, Miranda rated it it was ok. Originally published at www. It has been great to see the world from different perspectives across the world. We often hear about how unrest in the middle east affects oil prices, but we forget that it also has a human cost to it.
Rather than simply making the price of gas go up, the chaos also means that thousands of children are growing up in a time when they may killed for being an innocent bystander. I can’t imagine what it would be like to grow up in a war zone.
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Despite appreciating having my horizons widened I didn’t enjoy this novel all that much. The plot line wandered aimlessly not really having a main protagonist. You start the novel following Miteb Al Hathal and his family and end the novel following a series szlt vastly different characters. It is a great overview rahan the people and the times, but without a protagonist to guide me through the story, I felt lost and ambivalent as to what happened throughout the novel.