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Midnight Tales
A Woman’s Journey Through the Middle East
Rosina-Fawzia Al-Rawi; translated by Monique Arav

6"x 9" • 288 pages
ISBN 9781566565585 • paperback • $15.00

"Sociologist and author Al-Rawi (Grandmother's Secrets) here offers up a collection of poetic vignettes about past and present Arab folkways in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Kuwait, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates. Weaving together childhood memories and interviews with Arab women, she draws the reader behind closed doors to meet a colorful and intriguing casts of characters, including her Aunts Fatima and Kawthar, her Uncle Mahmoud, her brother Manour, her parents, her grandmother, and many other good-hearted people. Al-Rawi's writing is deeply evocative: the reader sees, hears, touches, and tastes what she describes. Rich with historical and cultural detail about a wide range of subjects-from shopping in a carpet souk to female circumcision, wearing the veil, pearl diving, marriage, women's roles, and much more-this work also includes Arab proverbs, endnotes and a brief bibliography. Highly recommended for anthropology, sociology, and women's studies collections."
--Library Journal

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"In actual fact, the only thing that matters in life is love, yet the inquisitive mind must be fed a few facts... Look at Baghdad!" commands Rosina-Fawzia al-Rawi’s lively and imperious aunt Fatima, one of the characters in this delightful collection of personal essays. Aunt Fatima would have approved of this book, for as her niece turns her eye first on Baghdad and then all the lands of the Middle East, ending with her research into women’s customs in the Emirates, she devotes herself as a lover does to all the intimate details around her.

Whether she recounts a trip to buy a rug, a childhood incident on a Lebanese playground, or explicates Arab poetry, al-Rawi’s collection is full of all that Aunt Fatima recommends—her beloved poetry, the ever-present history of these ancient lands, tender and intricate accounts of daily life, and quirky, nuanced tracings of the workings of the human heart.

Rosina Fawzia Al-Rawi is the author of Grandmother's Secrets: The Ancient Rituals and Healing Power of Belly Dancing.

To find out more about Fawzia Al-Rawi's workshops, journeys or evening classes (on Tuesdays in Vienna), please visit The workshops combine Oriental dancing, still and active meditations, as well as trance techniques from the Sufi tradition, which enable each participant to progress on the path which leads to no one but herself in an atmosphere of joy, trust and tolerance.

Media Reviews

"The author's travels through her native region offer insights into Arabic history, culture, and language as well as daily life in the Middle East today.
--Multicultural Review

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