From the list on Arabic writers on the destruction of colonization.
Who am I?
In the 1950s, my mother and father left the red dirt of Oklahoma for the forests of Idaho to escape their families’ poverty. Instead of sharecropping, my father became a logger, but my aunt and her husband, a drilling rig roughneck, moved to the deserts of Saudi Arabia to work for Aramco and live in the American compound of Abqaiq. I remember the gifts they brought me: camel hide purses, Aladdin slippers. The Saudis, too, were experiencing rapid modernization and expanding wealth. I became fascinated by the conflict inherent in the sudden enmeshing of cultures and meteoric shift in power and privilege.
Kim's book list on Arabic writers on the destruction of colonization
Discover why each book is one of Kim's favorite books.
Why did Kim love this book?
Of all the histories, journals, diaries, novels, and memoirs I read while doing research for ITKOM, Ahmed Abodehman’s slim book has lodged itself deepest in my heart. Sometimes referred to as a memoir and at other times as an autobiographical novel, The Belt is less about the changes brought on by the petroleum industry in particular than it is about the dislocation brought on by modernization (much of it driven by the quest for control of the vast oil reserves). The story begins with a tribal elder “examining young Ahmed's knife to determine the boy's masculinity.” With the coming of a government school to the village, such ancient tribal customs are challenged by more urban ideologies and orthodox Islam as the speaker struggles to retain the tribal songs he carries inside himself “like an inexhaustive fire.” With a poet’s sense of image and language, Ahmed Abodehman weaves a gorgeous coming-of-age…