Cities of Salt eBook ☆ Cities of PDF or

Cities of Salt eBook ☆ Cities of  PDF or
  • Hardcover
  • 627 pages
  • Cities of Salt
  • Abdul Rahman Munif
  • English
  • 11 September 2018
  • 0394570081

Cities of Salt[Read] ➯ Cities of Salt ➸ Abdul Rahman Munif – Essayreview.co.uk Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community Banned in Saudia Arabia, this is a blistering look at Arab and American hypocrisy following the discovery of oil in a poor oasis community.

10 thoughts on “Cities of Salt

  1. says:

    4.5 5 The details wilted, shrank and were forgotten, down to the very last one prompted in the memory by an act of will or a persistent ghost Any attempt to recall the image of things and places that had been encountered an oblivion that spread like warm air and made them dreamlike.It was a special kind of tragedy, like amnesia followed by long belated remembrance in which the chaotic confusion and curse of things were made apparent. There is always something new to learn about dehumanization 4.5 5 The details wilted, shrank and were forgotten, down to the very last one prompted in the memory by an act of will or a persistent ghost Any attempt to recall the image of things and places that had been encountered an oblivion that spread like warm air and made them dreamlike.It was a special kind of tragedy, like amnesia followed by long belated remembrance in which the chaotic confusion and curse of things were made apparent. There is always something new to learn about dehumanization There is always something new to learn about the combination of the stealing of land and the bleeding of labor, the sterilization of culture and the objectfication of class, categorized as clash andtruthfully a choke hold so long as one has what the foreign country needs This first part of a trilogy stops at a point, but the headlines and the hate crimes and the pardoning of war crimes tells me the conclusion is nowhere in sight Going by the multitude of other age old narratives of systematic oppression going strong today, I will not live to see the end of this Everywhere there was potential for endless quarreling, and many of the men felt, vaguely, that the fistfights and constant cursing were not always the result of mistakes or ill intentions and had little to do with the actual words spoken they felt this evensince depression and homesickness and other damned things were still within them and tore them apart before the quarrels and the curses and the rest.They had come to work but here they worked and were killed at the same time. A great deal of mutilation is committed in the name of oil The treatment of the Chapel Hill shooting by US media attests to the financial interests of these brainwashers and finance, of course, is all It is this social flensing of the self, cloaked in sheep skins of materialism and armor of economy , that erases and enslaves and rewards in accordance to who holds the reins The ultimate danger, however, does not lie in the action but how the act is continually spliced, making a violent other out of who in reality is represented farby Les Mis rables and God s Bits of Wood than anything capitalism can conjure up This is what makes the final turn from terrorism, to savior complex, to developing country Harran had not changed completely As soon as the caravan arrived the people swarmed around it much sooner than they thought, at the first looks they exchanged with the people, the two felt enveloped in an atmosphere and home and friends The people crowded around them as if they had been away only on a short trip Time had left its marks on all their faces, but these marks were dissolved by the emotions underneath, and these emotions revealed the inner strength which eliminated time and distance, returning their features to their original loveliness. Islam strongly runs throughout the entirety of Munif s tale, and as an atheist I will not belittle the whole for the sake of my personal theological preferences I will, however, say that the humanity which held all these people together was beautiful, and the contrast to the distanced, corporatized, profit focused actions of the incoming Americans brought out the true horror show People are tricked, people are starved, people are processed as a fuel of foreign potential, and the advice they are given in return is to scatter in hatred and no longer be a peopleDo you want the truth Ibn Rashed was a dog, a song of a bitch greedy, selfish, and tricky but he was a Muslim and an Arab He knew right from wrong, and that was what ruined him, that was what killed him Abdullah al Zamel paused, took a deep breath and went on in a clear and even sharp voice The Americans are godless They are infidels They know nothing but Work, work, work Arabs are lazy, Arabs are liars, Arabs don t understand Ibn Rashed never stopped for a minute It was always Yes sir, yes sir, whatever you say, and they treated him like a dog they let him struggle and go mad and die And not one of those sons of bitches, not even Sh eira, Nusayis, who came to his funeral, so much as said God rest his soulEven those in power have something to learn, for isolation, rage, and hollow despair are equal opportunists

  2. says:

    A long fictional look at Saudi Arabia s development as an oil country and the toll paid by those whose lives were disrupted, never to be the same, in this first volume of the Cities of Salt Trilogy, which left me feeling sad I read this because it was chosen by the Middle East North African Lit Group as a novel by a Saudi Arabian author.I enjoyed reading about the effect of the Americans first arriving and the terrible smell they leave behind them How ironic Of course Americans always think t A long fictional look at Saudi Arabia s development as an oil country and the toll paid by those whose lives were disrupted, never to be the same, in this first volume of the Cities of Salt Trilogy, which left me feeling sad I read this because it was chosen by the Middle East North African Lit Group as a novel by a Saudi Arabian author.I enjoyed reading about the effect of the Americans first arriving and the terrible smell they leave behind them How ironic Of course Americans always think they are doing things for the best of the locals and can t understand why they are not appreciatedfor the progress they bring, if they think about it at all The translator of the English edition is Peter Theroux, younger brother of travel writer Paul Theroux Peter is also the author of a non fiction book about Saudi Arabia written in 1991, Sandstorms Days and Nights in Arabia, and has translated several other books from Arabic into English Interesting contrast between Arabic culture where people are often identified by their children, and Russian I m currently reading The Brothers Karamazov where both men and women are known as the son or daughter of their father

  3. says:

    Epic work that looks at how oil and US imperialism completely changed the social relations of a Gulf country Heartbreaking Once again fiction proves better than academic work at showing the intricate ways in which capitalism impacted human beings.

  4. says:

    Tragic, poignant, boring, interminable The premise of this literary historical novel was interesting to me, but I couldn t seem to get a toehold in the endless telling of it In 1930s Saudi Arabia the name of the country goes unmentioned , the Americans arrive in order to dig for oil The small settlement of Wadi al Uyoun is turned upside down, its oasis, trees, and houses destroyed, its residents forced out We are introduced to Miteb and his wife and children, who will disappear as other cha Tragic, poignant, boring, interminable The premise of this literary historical novel was interesting to me, but I couldn t seem to get a toehold in the endless telling of it In 1930s Saudi Arabia the name of the country goes unmentioned , the Americans arrive in order to dig for oil The small settlement of Wadi al Uyoun is turned upside down, its oasis, trees, and houses destroyed, its residents forced out We are introduced to Miteb and his wife and children, who will disappear as other characters are introduced in episodic fashion Miteb is driven fairly insane by the destruction of his village, and rides away into the desert on his camel Several of his sons think they see him at various times, as do characters later in the novel, but Miteb is a mirage, a ghost who becomes part of the local folklore An old woman whose son has left with a caravan several years earlier and helplessly waits for his return, now having lost her home, dies of grief The Arabs and bedouins who go to work constructing the new housing for themselves and the Americans, and the oil pipeline, are portrayed as essentially Stone Age Their only contact with the outside world is via caravans coming from places like Egypt, Damascus, Basra, and Aleppo So when they find the Americans reading books, they are alarmed and puzzled by the books They can t figure out why the books come in all sizes and colors, and why some men carry several, others just one or two Why do they change out one book for another Why do the Arabs see one book many times, but another book just once Some suspect that the Americans are reading the books in order to gain control of the local people When they ask what is in the books, they never get the same answer twice What do the books have to do with the oil Why are some of the books history, and others geography Do the books have to do with witchcraft, or just blasphemy Many of them have never seen the ocean, and are terrified of it When boats and oil tankers are seen just offshore, they are frightened The boats, tankers, and bulldozers are perhaps operated by jinns The local emir is given a radio, causing everyone to just about lose their shit and wonder how the tiny man inside making the noise can survive As the emir watches one of the ships through his telescope and informs others that he can see naked women cavorting on it, the men s lewd thoughts erupted and flew over this long distance to reach the ship and touch the women s bodies clothed like a ball of fire Their hearts and eyes were shocked, and they felt an uncontrollable panic What the emir was saying could not be believed, a man could not imagine such a thing real naked women, wandering among men on the deck of a ship How could the men stand to have them walking around and coming near without burning up, without exploding like gunpowder, without sticking themselves like tent pegs into every crevice of those warm, beautiful bodies While numerous Arabs are given personalities and stories which often end in tragedy , the Americans remain cardboard cut outs, never really fleshed out Only two or three of them have names They are devils and infidels, the women sluts The Americans are fascinated by the Arabs and take photographs of them constantly These people are strange they seem so mysterious, says one You never know whether they re sad or happy Everything about them is wrapped up, layers upon layers, just like the desert under their feet

  5. says:

    This was an unusual, but rewarding, reading experience for me Cities of Salt, published by a Saudi Arabian Jordanian author in 1984, is a very foreign novel to an American reader It is set in an unnamed country presumably Saudi Arabia the Gulf port of Harran, the book s primary setting, is probably based on the real place called Dhahran and spans an unspecified period of time, during which oil is discovered and the local way of life is utterly transformed The community, or the place itse This was an unusual, but rewarding, reading experience for me Cities of Salt, published by a Saudi Arabian Jordanian author in 1984, is a very foreign novel to an American reader It is set in an unnamed country presumably Saudi Arabia the Gulf port of Harran, the book s primary setting, is probably based on the real place called Dhahran and spans an unspecified period of time, during which oil is discovered and the local way of life is utterly transformed The community, or the place itself, is the real protagonist characters come and go and the narrative moves on very naturally, but in a sense the individual men are almost incidental to the story I say men because women are virtually invisible throughout The book charts the key moments and the effects of change on the community as a whole, with a narrative that seems at times disembodied And yet, it works there is a plot structure here, albeit an unusual one, and the book maintains a certain narrative momentum It took about half the novel for me to get used to its rhythm and begin to appreciate it, but I am glad I took that time It s one thing to read a novel set in a foreign country, but a novel with a completely different storytelling method is altogether differentchallenging, yes, but also farauthentic The excellent English translation complements that storytelling it s clear that this is a translation, but not due to any awkwardness of expression the word choice and cadence of the language feel slightly foreign, bridging the gap between the Arabic original and English readers while maintaining presumably the flavor of the author s writing So, I am glad I read this book, with its panoramic storytelling and its unapologetic look at the impacts of the oil economy on the traditional way of life And it isn t all big ideas we get to know a number of characters, though not in quite the same way as in your typical English language novel, and Munif doesn t stint on detail It isn t a book I d recommend casually to those looking for pure entertainment, but it s definitely worth reading if you have an interest in Middle Eastern fiction

  6. says:

    Read this book and then look at Dubai I dare you.

  7. says:

    I took this novel off my shelf because it had been sitting there for years, taking upspace than any other book What I found astounded me a great long novel and the first volume of a trilogy of novels , its greatness based largely on what isn t there, such as sense of time, protagonists, women, plot, and voice It makes the novel very difficult to describe.What is important is that it is a totally different reading experience, and the reason for what is there is that the society being pi I took this novel off my shelf because it had been sitting there for years, taking upspace than any other book What I found astounded me a great long novel and the first volume of a trilogy of novels , its greatness based largely on what isn t there, such as sense of time, protagonists, women, plot, and voice It makes the novel very difficult to describe.What is important is that it is a totally different reading experience, and the reason for what is there is that the society being pictured Saudi society at the dawn of American oil exploration apparently had little sense of time, was very communal, left women to themselves, changed very slowly hence the novel moves by changes from outside , and would not recognize the concept of voice The closest thing I have read to this novel is Ivo Andric s The Bridge on the Drina, but that consistsof traditional storytelling This novel is relatively abstract It consiststhan anything of emotions and rumors and reactions It lets stories and characters go There is a great deal of repetition, because that s what life was like.However, in the final third of the novel, after the novel has moved from a desert oasis to a growing port town, as Western culture and working for Americans in a town makes people less communal, the novel becomesplot and character oriented,ordinary, to reflect the changes in the society The novel becomes less special, but only out of necessity.Peter Theroux s translation does a great job of capturing Munif s approach to this world, and his plain, rhythmical prose is beautiful

  8. says:

    Cities of SaltOil creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without work, life for free Oil is a resource that anaesthetises thought, blurs vision, corrupts.Ryszard Kapu ci skiThis masterpieces talk about How was life in Saudi Arabia before oil was found and how it become after it found.Daily life, social customs , love, war and econmey all of Those things changed when black oil cameafter the discovery of oil Saudi Arabia saw economic and social development progress at an extre Cities of SaltOil creates the illusion of a completely changed life, life without work, life for free Oil is a resource that anaesthetises thought, blurs vision, corrupts.Ryszard Kapu ci skiThis masterpieces talk about How was life in Saudi Arabia before oil was found and how it become after it found.Daily life, social customs , love, war and econmey all of Those things changed when black oil cameafter the discovery of oil Saudi Arabia saw economic and social development progress at an extremely rapid rate, thus transforming the infrastructure and educational system of the country.Those masterpieces of Novels need to be Read before you Die

  9. says:

    One of my favorite quotes in Cities of Salt, Don t act so important, my boy we are all guests in this world I have mixed feelings about this first novel in a pentalogy There were three characters I liked Some characters I wish had been developedThe author Abdul Rahman Munif s style in this translation is rather folksy, in my opinion Even though it took me forever to read the book, I always looked with anticipation to what was going to happen next Thanks my friend Sura for recommen One of my favorite quotes in Cities of Salt, Don t act so important, my boy we are all guests in this world I have mixed feelings about this first novel in a pentalogy There were three characters I liked Some characters I wish had been developedThe author Abdul Rahman Munif s style in this translation is rather folksy, in my opinion Even though it took me forever to read the book, I always looked with anticipation to what was going to happen next Thanks my friend Sura for recommending this book to me I bought Cities of Salt many years ago from the now gone of business used and rare bookstore in my town It sat on one of my bookshelves collecting dust for many years Eventually I may take on the next book in the series I had no plans after getting midway in the novel, but by the end of the book my interest was piqued

  10. says:

    Wadi al Uyoun was an idyllic oasis of good spirits and lush greenery Harran, a far flung dusty village where the desert meets the salty sea In much the same way as One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles the gradual transformation of the town of Macondo, Munif has constructed its Arabic counterpart in the sprawling novel Cities of Salt With the arrival of the American devils and their quest for oil, the ages old way of life built around the watering of camels and the much anticipated arrival Wadi al Uyoun was an idyllic oasis of good spirits and lush greenery Harran, a far flung dusty village where the desert meets the salty sea In much the same way as One Hundred Years of Solitude chronicles the gradual transformation of the town of Macondo, Munif has constructed its Arabic counterpart in the sprawling novel Cities of Salt With the arrival of the American devils and their quest for oil, the ages old way of life built around the watering of camels and the much anticipated arrival of caravans cedes its place to new and strange happenings.The sorrow and anger of the Arabs is heart breaking, and the rivalries that spring up between them are both bitter and destructive Moments of rapid or violent upheaval do pierce the storyline, buttelling is the insidious spread of evil and the fissures created between classes and races, with the bedouin workers occupying the lowest rung of the ladder Munif tells the story through the eyes of a wide and varying cast of characters, from the teenage boy eager to travel to the distinguished emir dazzled by Western technology It must be noted, however, that the few female characters are relegated to secondary roles, and their oppression is both frank and seemingly irrelevant given the strict gender divisions respected by all Munif s magical descriptions of time and place bring this unnamed country to life, and Theroux s translation does it justice From the haunting songs of the bedouin Suweyleh to the enraptured emir sighting nearly naked American women through a telescope, the images from Cities of Salt will stay with you for a long time It offers a window onto the early days of oil prospecting in the Middle East, exploring the rise of anti American sentiment alongside the lust for wealth and power among the select few While the desert vistas fed my wanderlust, the political message confirmed my wish to avoid the likes of Dubai at all costs

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