Meet-ups in New York City, London, and Cairo to discuss Hani al-Rahib’s The Epidemic are just a week away. If you haven’t gotten hold of the Arabic text, Andrew Leber has volunteer-translated a second excerpt of the novel:
After two weeks, the Al-Sindyan clan went to the properties office to collect the deed papers. Each one of them carried a new copy of his proof of residence, except for Kinaan, who attended just to watch. Ismail arrived first. He saw that the window, where an employee would later see to them, was closed. He sat on one of the seats in the garden, and from that point until the sour-faced employee appeared, he busied himself with greeting the others as they arrived and getting to know them. He was happy. Every time an Al-Sindyan or two or three approached, he rushed to welcome them with words of congeniality and affection.
Yet his happiness had a limit, and it began to wither inside him as the full group reached twenty-one heirs. He was glad there were so many of them, yet he was anxious, too: were all of them worthy of the name “Al-Sindyan”? Who among them was truly worthy? Or rather, for which of them was this occasion a chance to be reborn? This was, after all, the purpose of their meeting, and the meaning of the inheritance as well. Who would see the deed as a calling, a heartfelt dedication torebuilding the glory of the ancient Al-Sindyan? Which of them would consider it a part of their very identity? Yes, identity… Keep reading.
The New York meeting will be on Wednesday October 2nd at 8pm at the Richard Ettinghausen Library at NYU’s Hagop Kevorkian Center – 50 Washington Square South (enter at 255 Sullivan Street).
The Cairo group will be meeting on September 29th at 7:30pm at Dar al Tanweer publishing house – 8 Qasr el Nil Street, Downtown Cairo.
In London, the newly-named ‘Saf7a we noss’ group will be meeting on October 7th at 7pm at the Royal Festival Hall /Southbank.
If you’re not in one of these cities, you can still participate online.