Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union): 81-90

This is where you’ll find 1-10 (and an explanation of this project), and here’s 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, and 71-80. Please do help me out with errors and omissions.

80 There Is a Man in our House, by the Egyptian novelist Ihsan Abdul Quddus.

According to David Waldner, on

Abd al-Quddus wrote more than sixty novels and collections of short stories, many of which were made into films. His works of Arabic literature were characterized by psychological studies of political and social behavior. Among his works translated into English are I Am Free, The Bus Thief, and A Boy’s Best Friend.

However, I am unable to turn up any additional evidence of these translations.

81 Symbols of Modernity, by Iraqi writer Abdul Amir Khadir.


82 And My Share of the Horizon, by Tunisian author Abdel Qader Ben Shaikh.

According to translator Aida Bamia, also via

In the novel Wa Nasibi min al-Ufuq (My Share of the Horizon), Abdel Qader Ben Shaikh (b. 1929) calls for the emancipation of women, the easing of parents’ control, and the relaxing of social traditions.

Can’t find anything of his in English, though.

83 The Theocrat, by Moroccan writer Bensalem Himmich, translated by Roger Allen and published by AUC Press.

Roger Allen has a complex explanation of why he titles Crazy Ruler as The Theocrat, but I can’t recall it at the moment.

Anyhow, I would’ve chosen Himmich’s The Polymath for this list, but, in any case, go read Himmich: He’s a fascinating stylist. And there’s now a paperback edition of The Polymath.

84 Al-Khamasseya, by Kuwaiti Ismail Fahd Ismail.

According to the Gulf Film Festival website:

Ismail Fahad Ismail is the founder of the Novel Art in Kuwait, and he is one of the biggest novelists in the Arab region. His first novel When the Sky was Blue was published in 1970. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in literature and critical studies from the Higher Institute of Theatre Arts in Kuwait, has worked in teaching and managed an art production company. He is a full time writer since 1985.

But nothing in English. That I can find.

85 Wandering Wings, by Lebanese author Jawad Al-Sidawi.

I can find nothing by Al-Sidawi (in English), and I’ve tried multiple transliterations.

86 The Days of Ashes, from Moroccan writer Mohammad Ezzeddine Tazi.

Morocco counts an impressive array of distinguished writers expressing themselves in Arabic, including Mohammad Ezzeddine Tazi (b. 1948)….

That’s all I see by or about him in English; that sentence. From translator Aida Bamia, via

87 Ras Beirut, by Syrian author Yasin Rifa’ieh.

I didn’t find any evidence of Ras Beirut in English, but I did find a story by Rifai’eh/Rifa’iyya in Modern Arabic Fiction : An Anthology, edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi, and in Modern Syrian Short Stories, edited by Michel Azrak and M. J. L. Young.

88 Eye of the Sun, by the Libyan author Khalifa Hussein Mustapha.

Just a reference on how he hasn’t yet made his way into English.

89 Longa and the Ghoul, by Algerian author Zahwar Wanissi.

I did try. Don’t think I didn’t try.

90 Clamor of the Lake, by the Egyptian Mohammed El-Bisatie. Translated by Hala Halim, published by AUC Press.

All right, where here’s an easy one. I’ve read Clamor of the Lake and a number of other El-Bisatie’s works in English: Over the Bridge, A Last Glass of Tea and Other Stories, Houses Behind the Trees, Hunger, Drumbeat.

I think Houses Behind the Trees is his best in English translation.

I was so close to the finish line, and then I noticed that the “best 100 books” is…more than 100. Agh.