The Gypsies’ Notebooks

On the threshold, I stand and watch the white plastered wall. My grandmother rises from her sleep, radiant with this awe that I see in the eyes of others, and I approach her. Aisha protests and tries to grab me by the hand to push me away from her. She says, “Get up, my grandmother wants to break her fast.” She gestures for her to leave me, and Aisha winks at me to get up, but I don’t get up.

I love the colors of her clothes and the smell of her hands as she grips my hair, and her eyes tell my father to stop his bad habits and grow up to be a man as revered as my grandfather, or at least like my uncles who are gone. My father sits on the threshold, staring into space. My grandmother speaks very little. She does not leave her room except to the shrine of Annab, who everyone believes is the great father who settled in this land and gave this dynasty the legitimacy of existence.

My grandmother tells the story to those around her. I love the light that emanates from her hands, and I hear the fables she tells about her, and I have fun. I was that male who flaunted his masculinity, carrying this great legacy that began to shackle me as I forgot the smell of the wilderness that emanated from my pores.

Book information

  • ISBN: 9786144695227
  • Publisher:
    • Dar Waard (2000)
    • Emissa (2006)
    • Dar Al-Adab (TBC)
    • Hachette Antoine – Nawfal (2020)
  • Original publication date: 2000 (Arabic)
  • Original name: Dafatir al-Qurbat (دفاتر القرباط)
  • Order Arabic:
The Gypsies Notebooks – Arabic cover
The Gypsies Notebooks – Arabic cover
The Gypsies Notebooks – Arabic cover
The Gypsies Notebooks – Arabic cover

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