By Sayed Kashua, Miriam Shlesinger
A narrative born out of the tensions among Jewish and Arab Israelis, the debut novel by way of twenty-eight-year-old Arab-Israeli Sayed Kashua has been praised all over the world for its honesty, irony, humor, and its uniquely human portrayal of a tender guy who strikes among societies, changing into a stranger to both.
Kashua’s anonymous antihero has tremendous footwear to fill, having grown up with the parable of a grandfather who died battling the Zionists in 1948, and with a father who used to be jailed for blowing up a faculty cafeteria within the identify of freedom. while he's granted a scholarship to an elite Jewish boarding university, his relations rejoices, dreaming that he'll develop as much as be the 1st Arab to construct an atom bomb. yet to their dismay, he seems to be a coward without any nationwide satisfaction; his simply ambition is to slot in along with his Jewish friends who reject him. he modifies his outfits, his accessory, his consuming conduct, and turns into a professional at faking identities, sliding among various cultures, assorted faculties, diversified languages, and at last a Jewish lover and an Arab wife.
With clean candor and self-deprecating wit, Kashua brings us a protagonist whose maximum accomplishment is his skill to vanish. In a land the place own and nationwide identities are synonymous, Dancing Arabs brilliantly maps one man’s fight to disentangle the 2, purely to tragically and necessarily forfeit either.
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Extra resources for Dancing Arabs
Five little blocks are covered in weeds. In winter the weeds grow high and green, and in summer they are yellow and dry. My grandmother bends the branches, exposing the blocks (which are covered in a thick layer of sand), sits down beside the grave, and starts reciting verses from the Koran. She says she knows plenty of verses, even though she’s never studied. Later, when the old men in the mosque start reading the holiday verses over the loudspeakers, everyone starts shaking hands and handing out money and candy to the children.
Now that all the equipment was out of the suitcase, I saw it was lined with newspapers. I was sure they were just there to protect the equipment from humidity, but before I had a chance to put the toiletries back inside, my eyes fell on a picture in one of the papers. It was all written in Hebrew, and I hadn’t learned Hebrew well enough yet to read a paper, but in the newsprint I saw a small faded passport photo of a young man looking at me. My hands froze. It was a picture of my father. True, he looked much younger.
She said they made a lot of dirt, and the entrance to the house looked ugly because of them. Grandma said that cutting them down would be a disaster, because eucalyptus trees contain a wali, a holy spirit who guards the home and the village. She told us how Grandpa’s father, Sheikh Ahmad, used to stand beside the eucalyptus trees and talk with the rebels in Jaffa and in the mountains. He would warn them against the Jews, telling them where they were hiding and which route was safest. Two days later, my father was released from detention.