Ali Lateef: Two Libyan Folktales

Tripoli coffee house by Domenico Tumiati, 1911. Source: theculturetrip.com

The brightest sun

Storyteller: Salima Abd Alsadeg Abu Khasheem

May God curse the devil, and keep us safe from his schemes.

There is a man who is married to two young women. One is white, the other black. The white woman ridicules the other for her color and constantly reminds her, You are only a servant.

Each one of them had a daughter. When the black woman sends food to the white woman, she doesn’t let her daughter eat it, or even taste it; when she gets it, she tosses it away for the dogs and says, Beware of her food, it makes you sick.

When the white daughter visits the black woman, she gives her candy and lets her play with her own daughter. But when the black daughter visits the white woman, she strikes her and throws her out. The white woman tells people bad things about the black woman, and as the saying goes, Two wives wreck a man’s home.

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Anita Nair: Letters to a Man Never Met

ITALY, Fashion story in the mood of Egon Schiele. Katalina.

Ferdinando Scianna, Italy. Source: magnumphotos.com

Murad: Desired

One day, just another still, warm day in February, there was you… Sometimes I wonder why there wasn’t something to suggest the birthing pains of this love: a camel-shaped eyelash, a rainbow above my roof, frogs raining, a tree bursting into yellow bloom overnight, a snatch of a song. But there was nothing. Not even a twitching eyelid or a skipped beat of the pulse. And yet, now when I think of the time before you, all I think of is this grey and metallic sheen of the strangled day and the death-like silence of the night.

Last Sunday the neighbours brought me a glass of something tall, cold and sweet. They had a name for it: thandai.

Did I know there was opium in it? I did. Why didn’t I say no? Probably because I wanted to know where it would lead me. Opium. Melded into milk and almonds and chilled so the sweet creaminess could slide down my throat while a foot soldier in black crept through my veins to the silly point of my brain.

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Robin Moger Translates Saniya Saleh

The Storm Takes the Heart.

LON48844

Ian Berry, Hong Kong, 2002. Source: magnumphotos.com

.What does that glum sun search for in its useless

round and why does its purple body come apart

and endless discs come tumbling down from its

flaming core, followed by black birds

black and crossing over like the storm

whose eyes aglow with tears we barely glimpse, they come

out from the graves of the forefathers and make for Jordan.

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