The Hakawati Quotes

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The Hakawati The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine
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The Hakawati Quotes Showing 1-22 of 22
“...What happens is of little significance compared with the stories we tell ourselves about what happens. Events matter little, only stories of events affect us.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“By nature, a storyteller is a plagiarist. Everything one comes across—each incident, book, novel, life episode, story, person, news clip—is a coffee bean that will be crushed, ground up, mixed with a touch of cardamom, sometimes a tiny pinch of salt, boiled thrice with sugar, and served as a piping-hot tale.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“I was a lonely boy. I spent all my time reading books and watching the world. [some] tried to draw me out at first, but their hearts weren't in it. And after all, they had enough troubles of their own.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Me? I was lost for long time. I didn’t make any friends for few years. You can say I made friends with two trees, two big trees in the middle of the school […]. I spent all my free time up in those trees. Everyone called me Tree Boy for the longest time. […]. I preferred trees to people. After that I preferred pigeons, but it was trees first.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Belief is the enemy of a storyteller”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“You can say that Lebanese has hundreds of lexemes for family relations. Family to the Lebanese is as snow to the Inuit.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
tags: family
“She can be ornery now and then, vain for sure, petulant and impetuous, silly at times, ill disposed toward the help, even malicious and malevolent when angry, but, still, she has always been the one for me.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Hope, the great deceiver, seduced her that morning.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
tags: hope
“I want a God that makes me twirl.' I jumped off the couch. I untucked and unbuttoned my shirt so it would flow like a robe. 'Like this. I can do this for God.' I held my hands out. I twirled and twirled and twirled. 'Look,' I said. 'Look.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Like all cities, Beirut has many layers, and I had been familiar with one or two. What I was introduced to that day with Ali and Kamal was the Beirut of its people. You take different groups, put them on top of each other, simmer for a thousand years, keep adding more and more strange tribes, simmer for another few thousand years, salt and pepper with religion, and what you get is a delightful mess of a stew that still tastes delectable and exotic, no matter how many times you partake of it.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“A hakawati is a teller of tales, myths, and fables. A storyteller, and entertainer. A troubadour of sorts, someone who earns his keep by beguiling an audience with yarns. Like the word “hekayah” story, fable, news, hakawati is derived from the Lebanese word “haki”, which means talk or conversation. This suggests that in Lebanese the mere act of talking is storytelling.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Reality never meets our wants, and adjusting both is why we tell stories.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Nick commenced a monologue explaining the impossibility of such a phenomenon: the subordination of content to the aesthetics of language in Arabic literature, the dominance of panegyrics and eulogies as an art form, etc.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“I was a tourist in a bizarre land. I was home.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“No matter how good a story is, there is more at stake in the telling.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Fate's schedule is not always naked and clear.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Listen. Allow me to be your god. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you a story.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“In the grand scheme of stories, he was nothing, almost an unmentionable, for he was not an odd character or an interesting one. He was a thread, one of many, without which the tapestry would crumble, the yarn fray, and the tale unravel.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“A houri stroked the top of Isaac's head. "Are you truly pure?" he asked.

"We are as chaste as the sheltered eggs of ostriches."

"How dull," Isaac replied.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Never wear clothes that are bigger than you are unless you intend to grow into them. If you want to wear a great suit, either you believe it belongs to you or you'll look like you're thirteen and wearing your mother's clothes. Doesn't that make sense? It's the same in life. Never live a life too big for you. You either grow bigger to encompass it or shrink it to fit you.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
tags: life
“When I asked my father why Mademoiselle Finkelstein was such a cruel woman, he said it was because she was unmarried, which caused women to be come bitter, harsh, and unforgiving after they reached the age of thirty. of course, he explained, they made wonderful teachers, because they had the unfettered time to dedicate to their profession and they knew how to instill discipline. on the other hand, unmarried men, like his younger brother, Uncle Jihad, were simply eccentrics and did not suffer accordingly. The difference, he elaborated, was that men chose to be unmarried, whereas women had to live with never having been chosen.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati
“Neither father nor son moved, but stayed face to face for hours and hours, neither looking away nor surrendering, until the sun finished its daily pilgrimage, for no day is so long that it is not ended by nightfall.”
Rabih Alameddine, The Hakawati