short stories

Friday Finds: Montasser Al-Qaffash’s ‘Checking out the Apartment’

Not that I was usually punctual, but because the traffic was unexpectedly light along the corniche, flowing so smoothly a passenger in the microbus kept saying, “What’s up?”—unconvinced by any of the answers of the other passengers, commenting on them: “For sure, it’s something else,” without adding a different answer.

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‘1920 to 1930’: Anti-Prohibition and the Arabic Short Story in New York City, 1920

The story is interesting for several reasons. It shows this Arabic cultural journal (marketed outside the US as much as within it) taking an interest in the American issues of the day – Prohibition had been brought in at the beginning of 1920. It is also an early example of modern Arabic speculative fiction. Most of all, it is a fun little story and glimpse into Jacob Raphael’s 1920s Arabic publishing venture.