Click here and buy Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery from So the narrator’s father placates and sends away all Safiyya’s many. This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences. In it, Bahaa’ Taher, one of a group . of the history of the village and the monastery (Chapter One, “The. Miqaddis Bishai”), events proceed uninterrupted to tell Aunt Safiyya’ s story (Chapter Two.
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Suddenly, a rumor was injected by some unknown source, in order to create hatred between the villagers.
But the entirely personal and private flavor of it takes its strength from the vignettes of the main characters. While one wishes the author would write an historic novel based upon the relations of the monophysites and neighboring sects qunt the ages, Taher achieves something perhaps greater; creating his own byzantine while never imposing an entirely personalized view -or judgment- upon his very believable characters.
In it, Bahaa’ Taher, one of a group of Egyptian writers—including the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz—noted for their revealing portraits of Egyptian life and society, tells the dramatic story of a safiya Muslim who, when his life is threatened, finds sanctuary in a community of Coptic monks.
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Taher has a magical gift for evoking the village life of Upper Egypt—a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only from the windows of trains and buses taking them to safyya Pharaonic sites. His novel is describing the life in a southern village in Egypt where Copts Egyptian Christians and Moslems Egyptian Moslems lived together in peace and harmony for centuries.
He is one of the Arab world’s major writers. But this is no simple didactic tale. With an introduction and a glossary starting the book, I expected a difficult book. This safyiya probably the first English translation of any of Bahaa’ Taher’s fiction.
Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery- Novel by Bahaa Taher
It is a tale of honor and of the terrible demands of blood vengeance; it probes the question of how a people or nation can become divided against itself. Asubtle, complex love story, three-dimensional characters and a fully realizedsocial world. This slim, taut novel is a very good answer to anyone who believes Egypt is only about Nasser, one-eyed Nefertiti idols, or political irresolve. In it, Bahaa’ Taher, one of a group of Egyptian writers-including the Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz-noted for their revealing portraits of Egyptian life and society, tells the dramatic story of a young Muslim who, when his life is threatened, finds sanctuary in a community of Coptic monks.
The most useful part. Here, where Christians and Muslims have coexisted peacefully for centuries, where the traditions of the Coptic Church are as powerful as those of the Muslims, Taher crafts an intricate and compelling tale of far-reaching implications. The text also flows idiomatically. About the Author Bahaa’ Taherwho lives in Geneva, has written three novels and several collections of short stories.
With a powerful narrative voice and a genius for capturing the complex nuances of human interaction, Taher brilliantly depicts the mnastery drama of a traditional society caught up in the process of change.
The characters are complex and realistic – the wise ones recognizing both the past and the future in a country just stripped of the Sinai in war. The novelist’s style is so tender and his words flow soft like clouds. The book can be of great use to any student engaged in the study of both Egyptian society and Arabic literature.
I must acknowledge Barbara Romaine for her translation of this book, it is simply flawless. The translator’s introduction is quite perceptive and useful, though the style is sometimes redundant.
Safiyya, the narrator’s aunt, is an orphan girl monsstery was taken in by his monwstery and brought up by them. Bahaa’ Taher is questioning the source of this evil, hate, and violence that evolved between the peoples of the same land.
The book stands quite well on its own, thankyou. Moreover, he handles both topics safiyyq well. It is taken for granted that. About the Monastdry This brief, beautifically crafted novel introduces one of the finest contemporary Arab novelists to English-speaking audiences. I rarely read Mideastern literature because I generally find it less than engrossing. This book should be a must read for all schoolchildren in Egypt to teach them about Egyptian history of tolerance and peace.
The narrator’s father and an old monk, Bishai, join forces–Muslim and Th protect Harbi. A religious village leader and a kindly monk conspire to protect the pursued man and to instill more human standards of conduct.
When a village woman invokes the ancient custom of blood feud to seek vengeance on the man who, in self-defense, has killed her husband, the monastery offers him sanctuary. He enriches modern Arabic literature with an evocation of aspects of society and tradition that have not always received a great deal of attention from fiction writers.
Add it to your “must read” list – you’ll be well rewarded. This novel “is set 30 years ago in a village outside Luxor. I only used the glossary once – for curiousity not meaning. This novel, his most recent, is the first to appear in English.
Bahaa’s style reflects his tender feelings and a sense of nostalgia for the past, the ‘good old’ and peaceful days. Romaine has rendered an immense service to non-Arabic readers by introducing them to an important writer of the Arab world.
Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery
This is safigya significant alliance. Taher has a magical gift for evoking the village life of Upper Egypt-a vastly different setting than urban Cairo and a landscape that tourists usually glimpse only from the windows of trains and buses taking them to the Pharaonic sites. And I’d quite comfortable but the introduction at the back It is a tale of honor and of the terrible demands of blood vengeance; it probes the question of how a people or nation can become divided against itself.
The story weaves together a tale social difference Muslim, Copt, tenent farmer. It would be great if he would consider writing a romance.