The Bleeding of the Stone (Nazif al Hajar) by Ibrahim al-Koni

On November 5th we gathered to discuss the short novel, The Bleeding of the Stone (Nazif al Hajar) by Ibrahim al-Koni (translated by May Jayyusi and Christopher Tingley). Al-Koni, one of Libya’s leading novelists, is a master of magical realism (readers of Garcia Marquez and Allende will definitely want to know about al-Koni), and the group was intrigued by his mix of allegorical illusion, anthropomorphism, and intense studies on human nature.

The Bleeding of the Stone is an evocative look at the desert, the life of the Bedouin, religious and ecological issues, and the power of the human spirit to resist. Other books by al-Koni include the famous Anubis. The book weaves folk lore with references to religious metaphors – quoting from the Taurat and Injil (Old and New Testaments) and the Qur’an – to create a profound exploration about transformation and redemption.

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List of Books We Might Read

For now, here is an unsorted list of books we might read…suggestions, tips, reviews are welcome. We have tried to sort the list by country and author so it is easier to peruse.


Ibrahim Al-Koni

· Badhth An al-Makan al Da’I (al-Mu’assas al-Arabiya lil-Firassat wal-Nashr

· Anubis



Alifa Rifaat

· Distant View of a Minaret

Yahya Taher Abdullah

· The Mountain of Green Tea & Other Stories

Edward Al-Kharrat

· Stones of Bobello

· Girls of Alexandrai

· Rama & the Dragon

Ghamal al Ghitani

· Pyramid Texts

· Zayni Barakat

Hamdy Abowgliel

· Lusus mutaqa’idun/Thieves of Retirement

Ibrahim Alsan

· The Heron

· Nile Sparrows

Mourid Barghouti

· I Saw Ramallah

Yusuf Abu Rayya

· The Wedding Night

Mohammed El-Bisatie

· Over The Bridge

· Clamour of the Lake

· Houses Behind the Trees

Yahya Hakki

· The Lamp of Umm Hashim & Other Stories

Sonallah Ibrahim

· The Committee

Ibrahim Abdel Megid

· Distant Train

Sabri Moussa

· Seeds of Corruption

Latifa al-Zayyat

· The Search

· The Open Door

Hala al Badry

· A Certain Woman

· Muntaha

Ibrahim Abdel Magid

· Birds of Amber

· No One Sleeps in Alexandria

· The Other Place

Miral al Tahawy

· Blue Aubergine

· The Tent

Yusuf Idris

· City of Love & Ashes

Idris Ali

· Dongola

Somaya Ramadan

· Leaves of Narcissus

Bahaa Taher

· Love in Excile

Ahdaf Soueif

· Map of Love

· In the Eye of the Sun

Naguib Mahfouz

· Children of the Alley

Nawal el-Saadawi

· God Dies by the Nile

· Woman at Point Zero

· The Fall of the Imam

Tawfik al Hakim

· Diary of a County Prosecutor

· Fate of a Cockroach

· The Prison of Life



Betool Khedairi

· Absent

Samuel Shimon

· An Iraqi in Paris

Khalid Kishtainy

· Tomorrow is Another Day

Mohammad Khudayyir

· Basrayatha

Fadhil Al-Azzwani

· The Last of the Angels

Alia Mamdouh

· The Loved Ones

· Naphtalene

Hala El Badry

· Muntaha: A Village Novel

Fuad al Takarli

· The Long Way Back

Selim Matar

· The Woman of the Flast



Hassan Nasr

· Return to Dar al-Basha



Assia Djebar

· A Sister to Scheherazade

· Fantasia

Ahlam Mosteghanemi

· The Chaos of the Senses



Elias Khoury

· The Little Mountain, 1977

· The Gates of the City, 1981

· The Journey of Little Gandhi, 1989

· The Kingdom of Strangers, 1993

· Yalo, 2002

Hannan al-Shaykh

· I Sweep the Sun off the Rooftops

· Only in London

· Women of Sand and Myrrh

Yussef Bazzi

· Yasser Arafat Looked at Me & Smiled

Suhail Shadoud

· Burning in the Past tense

Hoda Barakat

· The Tiller of Waters

· Disciples of Passion

Ghada Samman

· The Night of the First Billion

· Beirut Nightmares

Leila al Atrash

· A Woman of Five Seasons

Amin Maalouf

· Samarkind

Rashid al Daif

· This Side of Innocence

· Passage to Dusk

· Dear Mr Kawabata


Saudi Arabia

Turki al-Hamad

· Adama

· Shumaisi

Zainab Hifni

· I Weep No Longer

Abdullah Al-Taezi

· Al Hafa’ir Still Lives

Abd al Rahman Munif

· Cities of Salt

Abdallah al Nasser

· The Tree and Other Stories

Hamza Bogary

· The Sheltered Corner



Mohamed Berrada

· Fugitive Light

Leila Abouzeid

· The Last Chapter

· The Year of the Elephant

Bensalem Himmich

· The Polymath

· The Theocrat



Hanna Mina

· Fragments of a Memory

Muhammad Kamil al-Khatib

· Just Like a River

Rafik Schami

· Damascus Nights

Ghada Samman

· Beirut Nightmare

Ulfat Idilbi

· Sabriya



Emile Habiby

· The Secret Life of Saaed the Pessoptomist

· Saraya, The Ogre’s Daughter



Sahar Khalifeh

· Wild Thorns

· The Image, The Icon, The Covenant

Fadwa Tuqan

· Mountain Journey



Mohammed Abdul Wali

· They Die Strangers

Books and Authors Not Sorted by Country

Nedjma (an unknown North African Muslim woman writer, using the Pseudonym Nedjma)

· The Almond