If your dad likes complex but ultimately heartwarming father-son relationships in (great) literature:
- Stealth, by Sonallah Ibrahim, has a touching father-son relationship at its core. It’s also an excellent, very readable book. Although some accused Ibrahim of writing autobiography (it hews closely to his own experience growing up in Cairo in the post-WWII era), this is fiction.
And memoirs that reflect on the father-child relationship:
- Jabra Ibrahim Jabra’s The First Well: A Bethlehem Boyhood. The great Palestinian author (who lived much of his life in exile in Iraq) lovingly depicts his grandmother, his mother, and his ill father.
- Mourid Barghouti’s memoir I Saw Ramallah, isn’t primarily about his relationship with his son, Tamim, but there are lovely passages about being a father.
- Tawfiq al-Hakim’s autobiographical essay The Prison of Life includes a lovely (and hilarious) portrait of his father as he builds and unbuilds their Alexandria home. It seems not to be available alone, but you can find it in The Essential Tawfiq al-Hakim; for the literature-loving do-it-yourself dad.
- Taha Hussein’s autobiographical The Days, both for the reflections on his relationship with his father and his relationship with his daughter. And, frankly, your father needs to read some Taha Hussein.
If your dad likes history:
- The Tales of Ibn Battuta, translated by David Waines. The original travelogue, and highly recommended.
And, if your dad reads Arabic:
- Why not get him Ana wa Baba or Super Baba? For dads and (young) kids, or grandkids, to read together.