by Gursel, Nedim

Conjuring the unpredictability of city life in the Middle East, this compilation of stories reveals the metropolis itself through a vibrant assortment of personalities. From the celebrated author collecting an award in the city that exiled him decades before to the forlorn lover waiting at a rendezvous as government officials raid nearby shops, this anthology shows how urban existence is changing faster than ever. Additional tales include engineers racing to complete another “world’s tallest building” in Dubai, American helicopters patrolling the Martyrs Bridge in Baghdad, and an Israeli general who invites guests to watch promotional videos for the tank that will “win the next war” while eating biscuits and reciting poetry, all revealing that it is not the landmarks but the people that define the communities across this region. Opening the door to a diversity of subtle and concealed elements, these narratives illustrate how much is not known about this fascinating part of the world.