Cities of Salt PDF/EPUB Þ Cities of Epub /

Cities of Salt Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community Wadi al Uyoun was an idyllic oasis of good spirits and lush greenery Harran, a far flung dusty village where the desert meets the salty sea In much the same way as One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles the gradual transformation of the town of Macondo, Munif has constructed its Arabic counterpart in the sprawling novel Cities of Salt With the arrival of the American devils and their quest for oil, the ages old way of life built around the watering of camels and the much anticipated arrival Wadi al Uyoun was an idyllic oasis of good spirits and lush greenery Harran, a far flung dusty village where the desert meets the salty sea In much the same way as One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles the gradual transformation of the town of Macondo, Munif has constructed its Arabic counterpart in the sprawling novel Cities of Salt With the arrival of the American devils and their quest for oil, the ages old way of life built around the watering of camels and the much anticipated arrival of caravans cedes its place to new and strange happenings.The sorrow and anger of the Arabs is heart breaking, and the rivalries that spring up between them are both bitter and destructive Moments of rapid or violent upheaval do pierce the storyline, buttelling is the insidious spread of evil and the fissures created between classes and races, with the bedouin workers occupying the lowest rung of the ladder Munif tells the story through the eyes of a wide and varying cast of characters, from the teenage boy eager to travel to the distinguished emir dazzled by Western technology It must be noted, however, that the few female characters are relegated to secondary roles, and their oppression is both frank and seemingly irrelevant given the strict gender divisions respected by all Munif s magical descriptions of time and place bring this unnamed country to life, and Theroux s translation does it justice From the haunting songs of the bedouin Suweyleh to the enraptured emir sighting nearly naked American women through a telescope, the images from Cities of Salt will stay with you for a long time It offers a window onto the early days of oil prospecting in the Middle East, exploring the rise of anti American sentiment alongside the lust for wealth and power among the select few While the desert vistas fed my wanderlust, the political message confirmed my wish to avoid the likes of Dubai at all costs 4.5 5 The details wilted, shrank and were forgotten, down to the very last one prompted in the memory by an act of will or a persistent ghost Any attempt to recall the image of things and places that had been encountered an oblivion that spread like warm air and made them dreamlike.It was a special kind of tragedy, like amnesia followed by long belated remembrance in which the chaotic confusion and curse of things were made apparent There is always something new to learn about dehumanization 4.5 5 The details wilted, shrank and were forgotten, down to the very last one prompted in the memory by an act of will or a persistent ghost Any attempt to recall the image of things and places that had been encountered an oblivion that spread like warm air and made them dreamlike.It was a special kind of tragedy, like amnesia followed by long belated remembrance in which the chaotic confusion and curse of things were made apparent There is always something new to learn about dehumanization There is always something new to learn about the combination of the stealing of land and the bleeding of labor, the sterilization of culture and the objectfication of class, categorized as clash andtruthfully a choke hold so long as one has what the foreign country needs This first part of a trilogy stops at a point, but the headlines and the hate crimes and the pardoning of war crimes tells me the conclusion is nowhere in sight Going by the multitude of other age old narratives of systematic oppression going strong today, I will not live to see the end of this Everywhere there was potential for endless quarreling, and many of the men felt, vaguely, that the fistfights and constant cursing were not always the result of mistakes or ill intentions and had little to do with the actual words spoken they felt this evensince depression and homesickness and other damned things were still within them and tore them apart before the quarrels and the curses and the rest.They had come to work but here they worked and were killed at the same time A great deal of mutilation is committed in the name of oil The treatment of the Chapel Hill shooting by US media attests to the financial interests of these brainwashers and finance, of course, is all It is this social flensing of the self, cloaked in sheep skins of materialism and armor of economy , that erases and enslaves and rewards in accordance to who holds the reins The ultimate danger, however, does not lie in the action but how the act is continually spliced, making a violent other out of who in reality is represented farby Les Mis rables and God s Bits of Wood than anything capitalism can conjure up This is what makes the final turn from terrorism, to savior complex, to developing country Harran had not changed completely As soon as the caravan arrived the people swarmed around it much sooner than they thought, at the first looks they exchanged with the people, the two felt enveloped in an atmosphere and home and friends The people crowded around them as if they had been away only on a short trip Time had left its marks on all their faces, but these marks were dissolved by the emotions underneath, and these emotions revealed the inner strength which eliminated time and distance, returning their features to their original loveliness Islam strongly runs throughout the entirety of Munif s tale, and as an atheist I will not belittle the whole for the sake of my personal theological preferences I will, however, say that the humanity which held all these people together was beautiful, and the contrast to the distanced, corporatized, profit focused actions of the incoming Americans brought out the true horror show People are tricked, people are starved, people are processed as a fuel of foreign potential, and the advice they are given in return is to scatter in hatred and no longer be a peopleDo you want the truth Ibn Rashed was a dog, a song of a bitch greedy, selfish, and tricky but he was a Muslim and an Arab He knew right from wrong, and that was what ruined him, that was what killed him Abdullah al Zamel paused, took a deep breath and went on in a clear and even sharp voice The Americans are godless They are infidels They know nothing but Work, work, work Arabs are lazy, Arabs are liars, Arabs don t understand Ibn Rashed never stopped for a minute It was always Yes sir, yes sir, whatever you say, and they treated him like a dog they let him struggle and go mad and die And not one of those sons of bitches, not even Sh eira, Nusayis, who came to his funeral, so much as said God rest his soulEven those in power have something to learn, for isolation, rage, and hollow despair are equal opportunists A long fictional look at Saudi Arabia s development as an oil country and the toll paid by those whose lives were disrupted, never to be the same, in this first volume of the Cities of Salt Trilogy, which left me feeling sad I read this because it was chosen by the Middle East North African Lit Group as a novel by a Saudi Arabian author.I enjoyed reading about the effect of the Americans first arriving and the terrible smell they leave behind them How ironic Of course Americans always think t A long fictional look at Saudi Arabia s development as an oil country and the toll paid by those whose lives were disrupted, never to be the same, in this first volume of the Cities of Salt Trilogy, which left me feeling sad I read this because it was chosen by the Middle East North African Lit Group as a novel by a Saudi Arabian author.I enjoyed reading about the effect of the Americans first arriving and the terrible smell they leave behind them How ironic Of course Americans always think they are doing things for the best of the locals and can t understand why they are not appreciatedfor the progress they bring, if they think about it at all The translator of the English edition is Peter Theroux, younger brother of travel writer Paul Theroux Peter is also the author of a non fiction book about Saudi Arabia written in 1991, Sandstorms Days and Nights in Arabia, and has translated several other books from Arabic into English Interesting contrast between Arabic culture where people are often identified by their children, and Russian I m currently reading The Brothers Karamazov where both men and women are known as the son or daughter of their father Epic work that looks at how oil and US imperialism completely changed the social relations of a Gulf country Heartbreaking Once again fiction proves better than academic work at showing the intricate ways in which capitalism impacted human beings.

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