By: Farida Abd El Aziz
It's always rewarding to take a break every once in a while from life's hectic activities, sit back, and unwind. One way to do that is to delve into a good book, and for a more refreshing effect, try one that's different from what you're used to picking up.
Here's a list of Arabic books that will definitely take you to another world and give you a taste of what it's like to explore the colorful corners of Arabic literature.
1. Al Aswad Yaliko Beki (Black Suits You Well)
A novel written by renowned Algerian author, Ahlam Mosteghanemi, that revolves around a fifty year-old Lebanese millionaire who becomes completely infatuated by a much younger Algerian singer whom he’s only seen on television and then decides to make her his own.
2. Quaed Al Ishq Al Arbaun (The Forty Rules of Love)
This novel, by Turkish novelist Elif Shafak, is about two love stories that take place in different centuries.
Shafak draws a comparison between the elements of a love story, including one's sense of safety and belonging, in both times only to convince her readers that there is no significant difference between love in the 13th century and the 21st.
3. Aiza Atgawez (I Want to Get Married)
A sarcastic yet realistic novel by Egyptian author Ghada Abd El Aal that paints the image of a girl who's on the lookout for a fiancé in order to fulfil her dream of getting married before she's thirty.
Ola sets out to meet different men and goes on funny and rather ridiculous adventures with each of them giving us an account of how difficult it is for her to land a husband.
Abd El Aal presents a dark comedy that plays on themes of frustration, age, and gender. She shows a contrast between how guys chased after girls back in the day and the way society is now applying a great deal of pressure on women to find their future husbands, before it's too late.
4. Nesyan (The Art of Forgetting)
Another novel written by Ahlam Mosteghanemi and directed specifically to her female readers. If you are dealing with a harsh break up and cannot seem to get over your ex while he's already moved on, then this book is exactly what you need.
Mosteghanemi emphasizes on how easy it is for men to move on from one relationship to the next and so gives women advice on how to forget their past relationships, erase these men from their memories, and start afresh.
5. Period: Samt Onthawy Sakheb (Period)
In this novel, Mohamed Metwally talks about physical and emotional sufferings of women. The irony of this book is when people find out that the writer is a male who has never been through any of the female struggles he thrashes out, yet was still able to powerfully portray them.
The book is composed of short stories that unravel women's deepest thoughts and explains their behaviors in different situations.