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Book Synopsis:
The American Neighbourhood

Jabbour Douaihy

The American Neighbourhood is a novel about a troubled city during an explosive period of history. It describes two contradictory worlds existing side-by-side within a single Lebanese city, Tripoli. The first: the poor, sprawling so-called American district of Bab al-Tebbeneh, from which many jihadis are recruited and sent to Iraq to fight the Americans. The second: the rich and powerful Al Azzam family’s splendid home in an elite district.

Intisar, who comes from the American district, works for the Al Azzams and has a good relationship with her employers, suggesting that the two worlds can exist peacefully side-by-side. However, she becomes terrified when her son Ismail disappears and it transpires that he has been recruited for a suicide mission in Iraq. Although he abandons his mission at the last minute, Ismail finds himself trapped on return to the city and he finds himself turning to the Al Azzam family for protection. 

about the author

Jabbour al-Douaihy was born in Zgharta, northern Lebanon, in 1949. He holds a PhD degree in Comparative Literature from the Sorbonne and works as Professor of French Literature at the University of Lebanon

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Previous Years

You can find a complete history of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction here. Information on all the winners, shortlisted and longlisted...

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Translations

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