By Kamal Abdel-Malek

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Additional info for America in an Arab Mirror: Images of America in Arabic Travel Literature, 1668 to 9 11 and Beyond

Example text

Even his treatment cost very little because I had insured him with the Blue Cross,” and she smiled. Then she excused herself and left. I remained with the woman of the house and I assumed that her friend had been talking about her dog, and I was amazed that she did not exhibit any signs of distress at his death! But no sooner had I observed this than she said, without my asking, “She was speaking of her husband. ” And it appeared to her that I was stunned that her friend could speak this matter-of-factly about her husband merely three days after his death.

As soon as these pilgrims landed upon the rocks, with their vessels destroyed or damaged, they faced the uncharted forests, the tortuous mountain mazes, the fields of ice, the thundering hurricanes, and the beasts, serpents, and vermin of the forest. One may be amazed at how all this did not leave a shadow upon the American spirit and inspire a belief in the majesty of nature and that which is beyond nature, opening for the American spirit a window on things that are more than matter and the world of matter.

His New York 80, excerpted here, is a fictionalized encounter with an American “call girl,” based on his actual visit to the United States in the early 1980s. New York 80 is a telling description of Arab attitudes toward America by one of the most famous Arab writers. Idris died in 1991. e: Excuse me madam, by the way, is this the right way to talk to women? Or should I say “Ma’am”? There was a surprised look from her, then astonishment, then slight annoyance. She: And why not? ” Why not? That’s the custom here.

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