Click here and buy Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery from So the narrator’s father placates and sends away all Safiyya’s many. This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences. In it, Bahaa’ Taher, one of a group . of the history of the village and the monastery (Chapter One, “The. Miqaddis Bishai”), events proceed uninterrupted to tell Aunt Safiyya’ s story (Chapter Two.
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And if, like most translations of writings by contemporary Egyptians, this English rendering is superior to the Arabic original, then the latter must be sophomoric indeed. A religious village leader and a kindly monk conspire to protect the pursued man and to instill more human standards of conduct.
Readers Comments A tender novel with a strong message of love Reviewer: The bey then develops a paranoid belief that Harbi intends to kidnap and harm the infant. Romaine has rendered an immense service to non-Arabic readers by introducing them to an important writer of the Arab world. Taher has a magical gift for evoking the village life of Upper Egypt—a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only from the windows of trains and buses taking them to the Pharaonic sites.
The most useful part. Here, where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully for centuries, where the traditions of the Coptic Church are as an as those of the Muslims, Taher crafts an intricate and compelling tale of far-reaching implications.
I only used the glossary once – for curiousity not meaning. Taher has a magical gift for evoking the village life of Upper Egypt-a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only from the windows of trains and buses taking them to the Pharaonic sites. It would be great if he would consider writing a romance. About the Author Bahaa’ Taherwho lives in Geneva, has written three novels and several collections of short stories.
Suddenly, a rumor was injected by some unknown source, in order to create hatred between the villagers. Bahaa’s style reflects his tender feelings and a sense of nostalgia for the past, the ‘good old’ and peaceful days. The characters are complex and realistic – the wise ones recognizing both the past and the future in a country just stripped of the Sinai in war. Reviews and Readers comments on Bahaa Taher’s Novel. With an introduction and a glossary starting the book, I expected a difficult book.
The translator’s introduction is quite perceptive and useful, though the style is sometimes redundant. Here, where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully for centuries, where the traditions of the Coptic Church are as powerful as those of the Muslims, Taher crafts an intricate and compelling tale of far-reaching implications. Moreover, he handles both topics extremely well. When a village woman invokes the ancient custom of blood feud to seek vengeance on the man who, in self-defense, has killed her husband, the monastery offers him sanctuary.
The book stands quite well on its own, thankyou. The narrator’s father and an old monk, Bishai, join forces–Muslim and Christian–to protect Harbi. Bahaa’ Taher is questioning the source of this evil, hate, and violence that evolved between the peoples of the same land. This novel, his most recent, is the first to appear in English. And I’d quite comfortable but the introduction at the back It is taken for granted that.
This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences. The novelist’s style is so tender and his words flow soft like clouds.
Hence a translation of one of his works is particularly welcome. I must acknowledge Barbara Romaine for her translation of this book, it is simply flawless. Safiyya, the narrator’s aunt, is an orphan girl who was taken in by his parents and brought up by them.
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While one wishes the author would write anut historic novel based upon the relations of the monophysites safijya neighboring sects through the ages, Taher achieves something perhaps greater; creating his own byzantine while never imposing an entirely personalized view -or judgment- upon his very believable characters. Aunt Safeyya and the Monastery. It is a tale of honor and of the terrible demands of blood vengeance; it probes the question of how a people andd nation can become divided against itself.
Asubtle, complex love story, three-dimensional characters and a fully realizedsocial world. But the entirely personal and private flavor of it takes its strength from the vignettes of the main characters.
Add it to your “must read” list – you’ll be well rewarded. This book should be a must read for all schoolchildren in Egypt to teach them about Egyptian history tje tolerance and peace. In it, Bahaa’ Taher, one of a group of Egyptian writers—including the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz—noted for their revealing portraits of Egyptian life and society, tells the dramatic story of a young Muslim who, when his life is threatened, finds sanctuary in a community of Coptic monks.
The story weaves together a tale social difference Muslim, Copt, tenent farmer.
Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery by Bahaa’ Taher – Paperback – University of California Press
Taher’s abilities as a storytellerand stylist shine. Books Digital Products Journals. This is a significant alliance. I rarely read Mideastern literature because I generally find it less than engrossing. It is a sfiyya of honor and of the terrible demands of blood vengeance; it probes the question of how a people or nation can become divided against itself.
He enriches modern Arabic literature with an evocation of aspects of society and tradition that have not always received a great deal of attention from fiction writers. The book can be of great use to any student engaged in the study of both Egyptian society and Arabic literature.
But this is no simple didactic tale.