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3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  21 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Haroun Soussan, narrator of Outcast and a Jewish convert to Islam, is a civil engineer and historian who’s just completed his life’s work, The Jews and History. The book opens with him getting an award from Saddam Hussein during the time of the Iran-Iraq war. Written in the form of an autobiography, the narrative moves in and out of the present, the recent, and more distan ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by City Lights Publishers
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Jul 19, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
I am having an extremely difficult time trying to decide how I feel about this book: that tells me that I've definitely landed on an important one. In the words of the narrator Haroun Soussan, this is a story about yearning for love and yearning for the soil of one's homeland. He asks, how can one explain that which goes beyond logic? Part of the drive that animates the story is that the narrator continually rejects everything meant to be important to him, his Jewish family, his home of al-Hila, ...more
Apr 30, 2012 Ron rated it it was amazing
This fictional memoir by Israeli writer Shimon Ballas interweaves a broad cast of characters with 70 years of Iraqi political history. Meanwhile it's also a very personal story that centers around three boyhood friends from a village near Karbala - two of them Arab Jews and a third Muslim. While their lives diverge over the decades following WWI, they remain bonded by their love of homeland and their deep desire to devote their lives to what each considers to be its brightest hopes for the ...more
Jan 03, 2008 Dusty rated it it was amazing
i am reading this book in the bathtub squinting in the dim light at a heavy subject, an iraqi jew who does not believe in israel as THE HOMELAND. he provides a lot of history about middle eastern jews, how home is a concept that the zionist used for their own selfish reasons.
it's good to have relaxed muscles while reading "outcast." a man who grew up along side muslims but was not allowed to eat their food. he does anyway when his father is away.
eventually he becomes a muslim i believe, his peo
Feb 09, 2012 Rachel added it
I had to read this book for school, as I am writing my Master's Report on it, and was pleasantly surprised at how good it was. Maybe its a very region-specific interest (the Middle East) but I found it well written and interesting.
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“A person cannot be equally divided between two contradictory identities. And if that's what happened, doesn't it stand to reason that when it came to a test he would lose his ability to decide and find himself doing things his heart couldn't be at peace with?” 1 likes
“An intimate journal has its own form of being and nothing exists, whether a living being or still pages, that isn't communicative, that has no destiny beyond the circle of privacy, beyond the circle of time and place.” 1 likes
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