Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World
108 Pages
English
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Santa Claus in Baghdad and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World

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108 Pages
English

Description

Independent Book Publishers Awards, Silver Medal, Multicultural Children's Fiction


Listen to the author's podcast on Muslim Voices


What is it like to be a young person in the Arab world today? This lively collection of eight short stories about Arab teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a Palestinian refugee camp engagingly depicts young people's experiences growing up in the Middle East. The characters, drawn from urban and rural settings and from different classes as well as a mix of countries, confront situations involving friends, family, teachers, and society at large. Along with some specifically Middle Eastern issues, such as strife in Iraq, the hardships of life in a Palestinian refugee camp, and honor crimes, the young people deal with more familiar concerns such as loyalty to friends, overcoming personal insecurities, dreams of a future career, and coping with divorcing parents. Coming of age in a complicated world, they meet life with courage, determination, and, not least of all, humor. With accompanying notes that provide contextual information, Santa Claus in Baghdad brings a fresh perspective to youth literature about the Arab world.


Contents
Preface
Acknowledgments

1. Santa Claus in Baghdad
A story from Iraq (2000)
Do the best gifts always have to come at a high price?
2. Faces
A story from Syria
How can you try to make someone else happy when your own world is coming apart?
3. The Hand of Fatima
A story from Lebanon
Which comes first—loyalty to others or faith in your own dreams?
4. The Olive Grove
A story from Palestine
Just how do you choose your battles?
5. In Line
A story from Egypt
Will a city girl ever feel quite at home in a farming village?
6. Scenes in a Roman Theater
A story from Tunisia
Do you have to wait for the story of your life to change—or can you help to tell it yourself?
7. Honor
A story from Jordan
Whose honor is at stake when a girl breaks the rules?
8. The Plan
A story from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon
Can the spring flowers bloom—and love blossom—where hope is so scarce?

Notes

Subjects

Informations

Published by
Published 13 May 2008
Reads 2
EAN13 9780253000323
Language English

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Exrait

Santa Claus in Baghdad
and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World
Santa Claus in Baghdad
and Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press 601 North Morton Street Bloomington, IN 47404-3797 USA
http://iupress.indiana.edu
Telephone orders 800-842-6796 Fax orders 812-855-7931 Orders by e-mailiuporder@indiana.edu
© 2008 by Elsa Marston
Chapters 1,2,3,5, and8previously published in 2005 by George Braziller, Inc. asFigs and Fate: Stories about Growing Up in the Arab World Today.© 2005 by Elsa Marston. “The Olive Grove,” previously published inSoul Searching: Thirteen Stories about Faith and Belief, edited by Lisa Rowe Fraustino, Simon & Schuster, 2002. © 2002 by Elsa Marston. “Scenes in a Roman Theater,” previously published in Memories of Sun: Stories of Africa and America,edited by Jane Kurtz, Greenwillow, 2004. © 2004 by Elsa Marston.
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses’ Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of American National Standard for Information Sciences—Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z39.48-1984.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Marston, Elsa. Santa Claus in Baghdad and other stories about teens in the Arab world / Elsa Marston. v. cm. A collection of eight stories, most previously published in other anthologies, about what it is like to grow up in the Middle East today. Includes notes which place the stories in context. Contents: Santa Claus in Baghdad: a story from Iraq (2000) — Faces: a story from Syria — The hand of Fatima: a story from Lebanon — The olive grove: a story from Palestine — In line: a story from Egypt — Scenes in a Roman theater: a story from Tunisia — Honor: a story from Jordan — The plan: a story from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon. ISBN 978-0-253-22004-2 (pbk : alk. paper) 1. Middle East—Social life and customs—Juvenile fiction. 2. Arab countries—Social life and customs—
Juvenile fiction. [1. Middle East—Social life and customs—Fiction. 2. Arab countries—Social life and customs—Fiction. 3. Conduct of life— Fiction. 4. Coming of age—Fiction 5. Short stories.] I. Title. PZ7.M356755San 2008 [Fic]—dc22 2007050768
1 2 3 4 5 13 12 11 10 09 08
For the young people of the Middle East … may they grow in health and happiness, and contribute to a more peaceful future.
And with my love, for Iliya, who never lost hope that this could happen.
And in memory of Murray J. Gart, friend and inspiration since my childhood, seeker of truth and promoter of understanding about the Arab world.
CONTENTS
Preface Acknowledgments
1. Santa Claus in Baghdad A story from Iraq (2000) Do the best gifts always have to come at a high price?
2. Faces A story from Syria How can you try to make someone else happy when you r own world is coming apart?
3. The Hand of Fatima A story from Lebanon Which comes first—loyalty to others or faith in you r own dreams?
4. The Olive Grove A story from Palestine Just how do you choose your battles?
5. In Line A story from Egypt Will a city girl ever feel quite at home in a farmi ng village?
6. Scenes in a Roman Theater A story from Tunisia Do you have to wait for the story of your life to c hange—or can you help to tell it yourself?
7. Honor A story from Jordan Whose honor is at stake when a girl breaks the rule s?
8. The Plan A story from a Palestinian refugee camp in Lebanon Can the spring flowers bloom—and love blossom—where hope is so scarce?
Notes
PREFACE
What is it like, growing up in the Arab world today ? Is life there as dangerous and difficult as it looks in our newspapers and on tele vision? For some teenagers, in places of unusual tension and conflict, yes. But the lives of others will seem quite familiar to you, in many ways. What young people want is what y oung people everywhere want: a secure home and loving family, good friends, teache rs who care about their students, the chance to grow and to express themselves, hope for a better future. Some other aspects of their existence—the land itself, history , the way people are ruled, beliefs and social customs—may strike you as surprising, certai nly “different.” Above all, young people in the Arab world share with young Americans the challenge of growing up in a complicated, confusing world, trying to meet life w ith courage, faith, and not least of all, humor. Let the teenagers in these stories tell you something about their lives.
ELSA MARSTON FEBRUARY 15, 2008
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Although I have lived in or visited all the places descried in these stories, the help of several friends in the Middle East and the United S tates was indispensale in ringing them to life. For an accurate description of Baghda d in 2000, I wish to thank again my Iraqi friends, Khadim Shaaan (“Uncle Omar) of Blo omington, Indiana, and Shaker Mustafa and Nawal Nasrallah in Boston. The comments of Richard Antoun, professor of anthropology at Binghamton State University, were m ost useful in the research for “Honor. Others who helped along the way include Lo una El-Amine, Helen Frost, Paula Sunderman, Amal Haddadin, and especially my s on, Ramsay Harik. As always, I am eholden to my friends in the Bloomington Children’s Authors—Elaine Marie Alphin, Marilyn Anderson, Pat McAlister, Keiko Kasza, Patri cia Batey, Stuart Lowry, and Pamela Service. I’m delighted y filmmaker Raouf Za ki’s faith in the cinematic potential of “Santa Claus in Baghdad, resulting in his film (RA Vision Productions) scheduled for 2008. The unfailing encouragement of Donald Gallo o ver the years has meant a lot to me. Finally, I shall always e grateful to George B raziller, and his editor Tara Zapp, for producing the earlier version of this ook,Figs and Fate: Stories About Growing Up in the Arab World Today;and to Janet Rainowitch of Indiana University Pre ss for seeing the possiilities in a consideraly expanded editio n, the etter to help young (and older!) Americans ecome acquainted with some “real life people in the Ara world.
1 Santa Claus in Baghdad
A STORY FROM IRAQ (2000)