This year has been shaping up to be a great year for Arabic literature, and with the year almost half-over, it's time to look back at some of the best books that hit the shelves in the first half of 2016.
From romance and satire to psychological thrillers and historical fiction, these works of literature will definitely make an impression. These recently published books should definitely be on your 2016 summer Arabic literature reading list.
1. La Shay' Mema Sabaq – Amir Atef
"La Shay' Mema Sabaq" is a restless thriller by Egyptian novelist Amir Atef about societal tension, corruption, love and revenge, in the middle of which a man's life is turned upside down along with his personality and everything he thought he believed in.
2. Ard El-Elah – Ahmed Mourad
"Ard El Elah" is a historical novel by Egyptian novelist Ahmed Mourad that starts in the spring of 1924 as Howard Carter demands a diplomatic intervention from the British Embassy in Egypt following his discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb, in order to allow him to get a permit to dig again as he is on the brink of uncovering one of ancient Egypt's darkest secrets.
3. Thakerat Al-Ward – Dina Nesriny
"Thakerat Al-Ward" is a psychological mystery by Syrian writer Dina Nesriny about human nature and pain, it follows a psychiatrist called Yasmine who is dealing with five very difficult cases as she struggles to treat her complicated patients who keep draining her energy.
The novel employs a metaphor about the hypothetical memory of a flower, which includes a memory of beauty stemming from the beauty of a flower and a memory of pain that arises from someone cutting the flower.
4. Koloob Modada Lel Rosas – Mohamed Magdy
"Koloob Modada Lel Rosas" is a mysterious thriller by Egyptian novelist Mohamed Magdy Mokhtar that follows the troubled paths of Zeinah, who is accusing people of killing her husband even though he's alive, and Youssef, who is searching for something holy in life as they meet in a cave in the Egyptian coastal city Al-Alamein.
5. Kayd El-Dars – Lana Abdel Rahman
"Kayd El-Dars" is a historical drama by Lebanese novelist Lana Abdel Rahman following one Lebanese family across three generations and across different time periods in Lebanon's modern history. It chronicles the family members struggle to find an identity as they leave Beirut and come back throughout Lebanon's modern turmoil.
6. Bayn Eghma'a We Efaka – Hadeel Abdel Salam
"Bayn Eghma'a We Efaka" is a psychological thriller by Egyptian writer Hadeel Abdel Salam that delves into the life of one woman as she stands at the edge of a dream suspended between painful reality and the world of dreams, struggling to find out which world will prevail.
7. Kol El-Torok To'ady Ela 60 Dahia – Mostafa Shaheeb
"Kol El-Torok To'ady Ela 60 Dahia" is a satire piece by Egyptian writer Mostafa Shaheeb, in which he satirically comments on society and the struggles of everyday life such as dealing with relationships, fighting for happiness and finding one's place in the world.
8. Wadi Al-Ramad – Ahmed Salah Sabeq
"Wadi Al-Ramad" is a dystopian novel by Egyptian novelist Ahmed Salah Sabeq that is set in a world where Egypt is bombed nationwide followed by a ground invasion in a severely destructive campaign by a foreign country that lasts several years. This allows for a new beginning as a strange reality starts to rise from the ashes across the Nile Valley.
9. Al-Thea'b La Tansa – Lina Hawyan Hassan
"Al-Thea'b La Tansa" is a drama by Syrian novelist Lina Hawyan Hassan that draws a vivid image of the differences between Syria's beautiful past and its tragic present, as well as the deep-seated issues that have led to it. The novel tells a number of stories from past and present including a past one of a young Yazidi woman and a present tragedy particularly close to the author's heart.
10. Yehia – Montasser Amin
"Yehia" is a dystopian drama by Egyptian novelist Montasser Amin that is set in an unknown time in the future after civilization ends and humanity starts from scratch. The main characters of the novel struggle to make the tough choices they need to get civilization back.
11. Chocolata Beida – Tamer Abdo Amin
"Chocolata Beida" is a collection of short stories by Egyptian writer Tamer Abdo Amin about life and the situations that define it, the stories intertwine a number of characters from everyday life throughout the collection in a way that makes it an on-and-off novel.