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Ibrahim Mālik

The Culture of Peace and Co-Existence – Translated by Jamal Assadi, with Assistance from Michael Hegeman and Michael Jacobs

Edited By Jamal Assadi

This selection of Ibrahim Mālik’s short stories and poetry brings together an illustrative compendium of his works, which propose a genuine portrait of the numerous predicaments, concerns, apprehensions, and coercions from which the Arab community inside Israel suffers. To a great extent, these difficulties are currently the lot of many ethnic groups and communities in the Middle East and many other parts of the world. General readers of this work will take pleasure in exploring a different culture, while specialists interested in Arabic literature will find new and bountiful grounds for academic study.
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The Mad Man

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My mother begged me not to blame her for what she was going to say. “There used to be a weird filthy guy in our town. Before people stoned him, they used to call him ‘the madman.’ I didn’t know his real name or why he was crazy or why people called him the mad man—was he the real crazy person or were we the crazy people? But I won’t burden you with that question because now you live in the era of the ‘The Wise King.’ Although now it’s different because the King, the Queen and all the ministers went crazy after drinking water from a bewitched well, and most of us who are the king’s subjects drank from the same well so we could fit in.”

My mother added, “Once this madman was sitting alone in the wilderness at noon under a sun so hot that it could scald a bird. He said to himself and us, ‘A day will come when a ship arrives from the depths of the sea. It’s the same ship that carried Jonah but now it’s replaced him with different people. The story is that their king fought God and defeated Him. These people will come to you and drink the river dry.’ After this, the mad man jumped up on one leg and ran down the roads and filthy alleys, his wailing cries running ahead of him. He damned ← 14 | 15 → whoever took joy in drinking other...

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