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Death in a Valley Town, Part 1 – Moving Day

Yahya noticed the obscene gesture that the man across the street gave him, but he ignored it, and chose not to tell his wife Samira. He knew how deep racism ran in these small towns. He would just have to be patient.

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Police officer with gun drawn

Moving Day

Yahya Mtondo noticed the young white man sitting on a porch across the street, glaring in his direction. He waved, but the fellow gave him an obscene gesture, then cocked his hand into the shape of a gun and mimed shooting at Yahya.

Yahya frowned. In the old days – that is to say, in the angry and lost days of his youth – he would have marched straight over there and punched the man in his funny frowning face, and damn the consequences. But he wasn’t that man anymore. He’d left that life like a ship leaving the assembly yard, tripping into lands unknown, skipping over the waves. Tripping, skipping and hopefully not flipping, inshaAllah. So he merely shook his head and turned back to the job of moving.

His wife Samira must have noticed his expression. “What’s wrong ruh albi?” Spirit of my heart, her sweet name for him, at least when she was in a good mood. Yoyo when she wasn’t.

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He looked at this beautiful woman who’d been foolish enough to marry him, a messed-up former foster kid, a skinny beanpole, a mere rideshare driver. Like him, she was tall – about 5’10” to his 6’1” – and though she was Palestinian, her skin was a beautiful shade of brown that fell somewhere between copper and mahogany. Her purple hijab concealed long black hair that she typically wore loose beneath her scarf.

While Yahya was quiet and contemplative, Samira could be loud. She had a laugh that rang like a bell, and a smile that stretched a mile wide. People were drawn to her brash and bubbly personality. Only those who knew her best understood the insecurities and worries that she hid beneath that bright and happy laugh. And though she was indeed lovely, at the moment she looked like a ragamuffin, standing there in a pair of old sneakers with holes in the toes, his djembe drum slung over one shoulder and a suitcase in her hand, her face dusty and sweaty.

He forced a smile. “Nothing at all, mchumba wangu.” Usually he called her mpenzi wangu – my love. But when he wanted to tease her he called her mchumba wangu, my homemaker. It was actually a term of endearment in his native Kenya, or at least it was what his baba always used to call his mom, may Allah have mercy on them. But he knew it annoyed Samira. In any case, he wasn’t going to tell her about the funny faced young man across the street. Samira tended to worry – she even had anxiety attacks sometimes – and he didn’t want to give her anything more to stress over. Only peace and harmony, or a piece of harmony at least.

“Just tired from the fast,” he added. He was doing a voluntary fast, and his physical energy level was at rock bottom, bottom of a rock, under the rock with the salt of the earth… He hadn’t taken any food or water in many hours. “But I love it. I feel so light and free. I’m a bird doing loop de loops. Oooh!” He spread his arms. “My feathers are as cool as ice.” And it was true. Though he was exhausted, spiritually he felt like he could soar with the eagles.

Samira rolled her eyes. “You’re a nut.”

He had not been crazy about the idea of moving to this poor, mostly white enclave in Central California, about twenty miles northeast of Fresno. He knew from experience how deep racism often ran in such towns. And he had two strikes against him in these people’s eyes, since he was both African and Muslim. Not that he was ashamed. He was proud of his heritage and grateful for his faith.

They were here because his wife had just completed her medical residency in Fort Worth, Texas, where they’d moved from, and Alhambra Community Hospital had unexpectedly offered her a fellowship in her specialty of oncology. The salary was not spectacular, but it was better than she’d earned as a resident. Between that and his income as a rideshare driver, plus the low property values here in Alhambra, they’d been able to buy a house for the first time, alhamdulillah.

The best part was that there was no ribaa involved. No interest. They’d gone through a group called Central Valley Islamic Finance, which helped people buy cars and homes without interest. Yahya was deeply relieved about that. He ́d made plenty of mistakes in life, but so far he’d managed to avoid the sin of ribaa. It felt like an achievement. He could see himself on Yawm Al-Qiyamah – the Day of Resurrection – standing before some great angel who held in his hand a parchment listing Yahya’s sins. His eyes would skim along the tallied crimes, each with a small checked box: anger, resentment, cursing, jealousy, ingratitude, and more. But then Yahya’s eyes would settle on the one little unchecked box – ribaa. He would point to it excitedly, saying,”Look, look!”

“Come on babe, tell me. What is it?” His sweaty-faced wife set down the suitcase and touched his cheek. She was always alert to any sign of inner turbulence on his part.

He smiled. “Nothing, my sweaty sweet.”

She pinched his earlobe in reproval, then slid her arm through his. “Look at our house. SubhanAllah.”

Craftsman bungalow cottageHe set down the box he had tucked under one arm and studied the house. 701 Minarets Avenue. They had taken the street name as a sign. Their own little homestead, their own piece of earth – of course it all belonged to Allah, but it was theirs to care for. He would import a few elephants and a lion and call it Little House on the Serengeti. He chuckled at his own joke.

The house was small for a family of four – only 1,100 square feet. But it was cute – a little Craftsman bungalow built in 1901, painted teal with white trim, featuring a small covered veranda to relax on when the weather go too hot, as it often did here in Central California. The yard was planted with wildflowers and native shrubs, while an immense magnolia tree grew in the front yard, casting shade over most of the house, its thick, waxy leaves glowing deep emerald in the morning sun. Some sort of songbird trilled from deep in the tree, praising God in its own language. Yahya loved it.

As an added bonus, Samira’s family lived in Los Angeles, only a four hour drive from here. As did his sister Yusra, though he was not eager for a visit from her.

Who are you kidding? said a whispering, sinister voice from inside himself. It was the voice of his orphaned childhood. The voice of fear and self-doubt. That voice was mostly silent these days, but it still made itself heard from time to time.

It won’t last, the voice went on. Once an orphan, always an orphan. Home? An orphan can’t have a home! You’re doomed to be alone, tetherless, unwanted. Safety and family are mirages. You see them in the distance, shimmering on the road, and start to think that your thirst for love will finally be slaked. Then you get close and there’s nothing there. Haven’t you been told a thousand times that you’re worthless? That you’ll never amount to anything? You believe you have something now but one day Samira will see through your facade of respectability and leave you. One day your kids will see you for the fraud you are. One day it will all be taken away and you’ll be alone again, and this time not even Yusra will be there to fight for you because she has moved on, pursuing her endless and deluded question to find something that never existed.

“Ruh albi.” Samira stroked his cheek. “Shake it off, babe. This is real. I’m here. I love you.”

SubhanAllah, his wife knew him so well. Her words lifted him out of his moment of darkness and self-doubt. She was right. This was real, now, this moment. Allah the Most High had opened a door for them, and they’d walked through, taking the path that the Almighty chose for them. Yahya knew in his heart that there would be good in this path. That was trust, tawakkul. Doing your best, then putting your life in Allah’s hands and trusting Him to bring you through whatever obstacles you faced. Tawakkul was not, as some thought, naivete. Yahya had not lived an easy life. He had experienced terrible tragedies, and walked through trench and terror, metaphorically speaking, just to stay alive. No, tawakkul was a choice and a mindset. It was faith.

Allah the Most High had opened a door for them, and they’d walked through, taking the path that the Most Wise chose for them. Yahya knew in his heart that there would be good in this path, or Allah would not have set them upon it. That was trust, tawakkul. Doing your best, then putting your life in Allah’s hands and trusting Him to bring you through whatever obstacles you faced. Tawakkul was not, as some thought, naivete. Yahya had not lived an easy life. He had experienced terrible tragedies, and walked through trench and terror, metaphorically speaking, just to stay alive. No, tawakkul was a choice and a mindset. It was faith.

“It’s my toy!” Zahra, his daughter, was tugging on the handlebars of the Big Wheel being piloted by Sulayman, his son. Zahra was a tiny thing, only four years old, with big eyes and a shy demeanor with strangers. Her brother was six, curly haired and precocious.

“Let me ride it,” Sulayman countered. “And I will get you a kitten instead.”

Zahra’s mouth fell open. “Really?”

“Yes, but you will have to move out of the house because you are allergic to cats.”

Zahra’s lower lip began to tremble. “I don’t want to move out.”

“It’s okay, we will make a sleeping box for you in the backyard.”

Before Zahra could break into sobs, Yahya took the djembe drum from Samira. “Hey kids! Let’s dance.” He began to beat the drum as he crooned a Swahili love song to Samira, shuffling around her in a slow dance step. Oh, sure it was a cliche. The African fellow with the drum. But so what? He enjoyed it.

Malaika, nakupenda Malaika (Angel, I love you angel)
Malaika, nakupenda Malaika (Angel, I love you angel)
Nami nifanyeje, kijana mwenzio (and I, what should I do, your young friend)
Nashindwa na mali sina we, (I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have)
Ningekuoa Malaika (I would marry you, angel)
Nashindwa na mali sina we, (I am defeated by the bride price that I don’t have)
Ningekuoa Malaika (I would marry you, angel)

Djembe drum The kids jumped up and began to dance, while Samira laughed and snapped her fingers. Yahya shot a glance at the young man across the street. He was still there, watching with a red face, looking like he wanted to march over and kill them all. No matter. Yahya would make an effort to reach out to the neighbors, get to know them. Weren’t Muslims commanded to be kind to their neighbors? Only through kindness could an enemy become a friend.

“Okay everybody. Back to work.” He kissed his wife on the temple and bent down wearily to pick up a box. The good thing about being poor was that all the family’s possessions fit into a small U-Haul trailer, and the moving was nearly done. That was one advantage of being poor, he thought wryly. It made moving easier.

Ragheads

Rotting wooden porch steps

Nursing a warm beer, Chad sat on the ramshackle front porch with the rotting steps and peeling paint. His hand clenched tightly the beer can as he watched the filthy camel hugging family move in across the street. Liquid sloshed over his fist.

It was unbelievable. This was Alhambra, a white town in America. Trump’s America. Making America great again, putting the freaks and coloreds back in their places. Sure, there were wetbacks in Alhambra – you couldn’t escape them in California – but there were hardly any blacks, and there were certainly no terrorist camel huggers.

Until now. There they were across the street and two houses down, unloading a trailer hooked to a silver Honda Accord. It was a whole family of ragheads – a woman with her stupid oppressed scarf on her head, a little boy and girl, and the father. Chad studied the man with contempt. The guy was tall, maybe 6’1 or 6’2, and black. Well, maybe he was African or some such, ‘cause he wore one of those long, colorful African shirts. His skin was mud colored, and his hair was short under that stupid beanie. He was skinny though. Chad was pretty sure he could kick the guy’s ass. The man noticed Chad looking and waved. Chad flipped him the bird. The man frowned and went on moving his crap.

Chad spent a lot of time sitting on the porch, ever since he’d been fired from his loss prevention job at Walmart. That still made his jaw clench and his vision go red every time he thought about it. Some black dude – a gangbanger no doubt – had tried to shoplift box of tampons, of all things, and Chad stopped him. A scuffle ensued. Chad recovered the tampons, but the banger got away. And Walmart fired him. Said he’d violated the terms of service of his employment, which required no physical engagement of any kind. You were supposed to ask the thief to return the goods, but if they refused you were not supposed to stop them, follow them, or “engage” in any way, due to the liability to other customers if the encounter turned violent.

So the shade goes off scot-free, and Chad gets fired. A law abiding, hard working, white American gets fired for doing the right thing. It made him want to smash something. Actually it made him want to smash someone, ideally his Filipino woman boss at Walmart, but any foreigner would do.

So here he was, twenty two and unemployed, nothing but a high school diploma to his name, sitting on his mom’s porch. All his old high school friends had jobs and girlfriends. Some even had wives. A couple had gone to college.

He spat, sending a loogie flying into the ragged grass of the front lawn. It wasn’t right. His life wasn’t supposed to turn out like this. He’d been a track star in high school – hundred meters and hurdles – and was supposed to have gone to college on a scholarship, but he’d blown out his knee, and they’d all abandoned him. It was like, if you weren’t of use to people, they didn’t give a crap about you. You were disposable. Blood sucking leeches. They’d given his spot on the track team to a black kid, a sophomore. Kid probably couldn’t even read. Was that piece of crap out there now, living the life that should have been Chad’s? How could this happen in Trump’s America? That was the problem, that it hadn’t been Trump’s America back then. It had been Barack Hussein’s America, the Commie Muslim traitor, damn his terrorist soul.

He seethed with the unfairness of it. He was no genius, he knew that. But he’d been a good runner, talented. He’d had the opportunity to make something of himself, to be the first in his family to go to college. He could have been more than his parents. His mother survived on welfare plus what she could beg, borrow or steal from her string of boyfriends. But Chad could have been a teacher maybe, or even a lawyer.

As for his dad, sure, Chad admired him in some ways – the man had been a shot caller in the Aryan Nation prison gang, able to point a finger and have another man killed. He’d been looked up to and respected. And he’d taught Chad what it meant to be a proud white man, standing up for your race and not taking any crap from coloreds. But let’s face it, Dad had spent 90% of his adult life in prison, and in the end he died the way he lived, with a knife in his gut. That wasn’t what Chad wanted for himself.

Plus, if Chad was being honest, he’d evolved beyond this father’s way of thinking. His father always used to say that the coloreds – no matter the shade – were filthy and inferior and should all be eliminated, even if that meant a race war across the face of America. It was a certainty, according to him, that the race war was coming. RaHoWa, he used to call it – Racial Holy War. The coloreds were secretly plotting to wipe out white America. It was an assault on the Christian values that had built everything in the modern world.

But at Walmart Chad had been forced to work with people of all colors and even folks from other countries like Filipinos and Chinks. He’d asked a few of them about RaHoWa, trying to find out about their plans to destroy the white race, but they seemed genuinely clueless. Chad slowly realized that RaHoWa was a myth, and that the coloreds were ordinary people like himself. They liked the same sports teams he did, played the same video games, watched the same shows. Yeah, they ate some weird crap and some of them smelled different, and their music was garbage. And they weren’t as smart, of course. That was a fact. White people were the smartest, they invented everything. That was why they ran the world. But the point was that the coloreds weren’t evil.

He had come to the conclusion that what was needed was not a race war, but separation. Let the coloreds live in their own neighborhoods and go to their own schools. Let them marry their own women and breed their own brats. And Chad and the white people would do the same. Live and let live. Not the Filipino bitch who fired him of course, he still wanted to bust her head open. But the others, yeah.

But the Muzzies – the Islamics – that was a different story. They were terrorist, cult following traitors. Not normal people. Muzzies were evil and sick in the head. Everybody said so. Plus, they lied as part of their sicko religion. It was called takaya or some crap. What kind of twisted bullcrap was that? They beheaded people, for Christ’s sake. If you were Christian in their country they would cut off your head with a hunting knife. They were devil worshipers. They should all either be kicked out of the country or killed. Period. Then Mecca should be nuked, and that would be the end of it.

But instead of taking care of business, the government was letting them go around like normal people. Even Trump had wimped out. The evidence was right in front of Chad’s eyes. Ragheads in his neighborhood, on his street.

And now they were playing drums and dancing some tribal dance like this was the African jungle instead of a civilized American town. Aargh! It was insane! How could he tolerate this? Where was Homeland Security? That was a good idea, actually. See something, say something, right? He took his phone out of his pocket and called 911.

Assault

They were almost done. Hefting a 6-foot bookshelf and turning, Yahya nearly tripped over Sulayman, who had picked up a table fan by the cord. Yahya resisted the temptation to chide the boy. The irritability he felt was a byproduct of his hunger and weariness from the fast. Part of the challenge of fasting, whether in Ramdan or outside of it, was to overcome that irritability and replace it with compassion. Instead of anger, to give love. Instead of resentment, to exercise generosity. Instead of self-absorption, to expand your sphere of concern to include your family, neighbors, the community, the Muslim ummah, and finally the world.

Sulayman and Zahra were only trying to help in their little way. But yeah, they were getting underfoot. He was about to suggest they go play inside the house when he heard sirens approaching. It sounded like there were a lot of them, and they were close. Curious, he set the bookshelf down in the driveway. The sirens kept getting louder, and a moment later a black-and-white Alhambra police cruiser careened around the corner, then another right behind it, tires squealing. For a second he imagined the cars as wildebeests fleeing a predator, squealing in fear. In a moment an even bigger vehicle would burst into view – a thundering mechanical lion.

Sanity returned. Yahya didn’t know what was going on – a burglary in the neighborhood, or a domestic dispute maybe? – but he wanted his family out of harm’s way.

“Samira,” he said urgently. “Take the kids into the house, please. Right away.” His wife had also paused to see the source of the commotion. She stood near the front door, her hands gripping tightly on the box of dinnerware she was carrying.

As the wailing sirens mounted Samira dropped the box. Whatever was inside shattered. She scooped up the kids, lifting them bodily off the ground, and disappeared into the house.

The police cars skidded to a halt in the street in front of his own home. Doors were thrown open, and officers kneeled behind them, pointing their guns at his house. Yahya looked around in confusion. Was a fugitive hiding in his yard?

“Put your hands on your head,” someone bellowed through a loudspeaker, “and get down on your knees!”

Again Yahya looked around. Surely they did not mean him?

“You with the hat and the beard! Put your hands on your head and get down on your knees! This is your last warning!”

Hat and beard? Was there a pirate loose? No, subhanAllah, they did mean him! He considered protesting, or at least asking for clarification. Then he looked at the barrels of the firearms pointing at him, one of which was bright yellow for some reason – some kind of phaser pistol? he thought crazily – and realized this was not the time for anything less than obedience.

Police officer with gun drawnMoving slowly so as not to alarm the cops, he put his hands on his head and went down to his knees. Two offers charged forward, their weapons trained on Yahya’s chest. One pulled his hands behind his back and handcuffed him, then shoved him forward. He fell, turning his face to the side at the last second and striking his cheek on the driveway. The impact made him grunt in pain. He thought he heard the muffled cries of his wife or children from inside the house. They were probably watching through the window. This was not something he would have ever wanted them to see.

He struggled to rise up, to say to the officers, “Come on now, what’s this all about?” He was not personally afraid. It was never his way to be afraid of people or the things people did. He was good with God, and trusted in the path. He just didn’t want his children to see their father being treated this way.

The cops Tased him. He didn’t understand at that moment what was happening. It was as if he’d been skewered like shish kebab and thrust into a hot flame to roast. Cook and cook and cook. Cook on a hook. Blank… his brain stopped functioning. Every muscle in his body seized in a terrible cramp. His limbs thrashed uncontrollably and his torso flopped like a dying fish on the floor of a boat. His vision became a red wall as agonizing pain blasted his consciousness. He still heard his family screaming, and in the distance he heard laughter as well – triumphant, mocking laughter. The agony seemed to go on forever, then vanished without a trace, leaving no remainder of pain.

He regained control of himself and turned his head to look at the officers. The one who’d tased him stood rigid, his arms in a classic firing pose, muscles quivering. He was young and slender, fish-belly white with red hair and a prematurely receding hairline. A balding trout. What Yahya noticed most of all was that the man was petrified. His eyes were wide with fear. SubhanAllah, what was he so afraid of? He was staring as if Yahya were some mythical monster lying in the driveway. An abominable snowman. Except he wasn’t an abominable snowman. He was an abominable Muslim, apparently.

“Hey,” Yahya said in what he hoped was a soothing tone, though to his own ears his sounded as rough as shredded sandpaper. “It’s alright. I’m not-”

“Shut up, faggot!” one of the officers bellowed, and once again the electricity coursed through him. He spasmed and fell hard, striking his mouth. Then he felt hard objects hitting him, striking his legs and back. Explosions of pain. A hammering blow clapped the side of his head, and darkness descended upon his mind.

* * *

Next: Part 2 – The Black Jesus

Reader comments and constructive criticism are important to me, so please comment!

See the Story Index for Wael Abdelgawad’s other stories on this website.

Wael Abdelgawad’s novels, Pieces of a Dream and Zaid Karim Private Investigator are available on Amazon.com.

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Wael Abdelgawad's novels can be purchased at his author page at Amazon.com: Wael is an Egyptian-American living in California. He is the founder of several Islamic websites, including, Zawaj.com, IslamicAnswers.com and IslamicSunrays.com. He teaches martial arts, and loves Islamic books, science fiction, and ice cream. Learn more about him at WaelAbdelgawad.com. For a guide to all of Wael's online stories in chronological order, check out this handy Story Index.

24 Comments

24 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Omer

    July 23, 2019 at 10:17 AM

    When is part 2 being published inshallah?

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      July 23, 2019 at 12:28 PM

      Honestly I wasn’t sure I was going to continue it, as it received no feedback until now. It’s not that I need to be praised at every step. But writing a novel is a lot of work and I just want to know that people are interested.

      • Avatar

        Omer

        July 23, 2019 at 12:39 PM

        If it makes any difference I for one enjoyed it a lot. I think it has great potential, and is in a brave yet relevant topic. I would love to see where it goes. I do hope a lot of readers are like me, just silent observers. Or maybe we just took you for granted. Regardless if you continue it or not, it was a great first chapter and could probably be converted to a stand alone story.

  2. Avatar

    Aymen

    July 23, 2019 at 12:05 PM

    So well written, extremely good.

  3. Avatar

    Rebecca

    July 23, 2019 at 7:05 PM

    I came back to the site today specifically for part 2!!!! Please keep going, Insha’allah.

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      July 24, 2019 at 12:05 AM

      Ok, will do inshaAllah.

    • Avatar

      Sumaiyah

      August 19, 2019 at 1:26 PM

      Salaam I checked your story index today for the first time in a long time and was so pleasantly surprised to find new stories alhamdulillah!! I read Gravedigger and loved it,wished it could have been longer. I liked this very much too and eagerly await the next part iA.

  4. Avatar

    Ola

    July 25, 2019 at 12:05 AM

    Waiting for part two.

  5. Avatar

    Aisha

    July 25, 2019 at 8:43 PM

    Yes, the story drew me in. I’m waiting for part 2! Please continue.

  6. Avatar

    Avid Reader

    July 27, 2019 at 12:56 AM

    Enjoyed the first part thoroughly – had your signature as an author from the first sentence!

    Came back today to check personally since I didn’t receive email notification for Part 2.

    Was disappointed it isn’t published yet, but hopeful that you’re working on it. Keep on, please. I recommend you as an author to my friends and family. Please don’t let people be disappointed.

  7. Avatar

    Brandon

    July 27, 2019 at 2:20 PM

    This is so over the top that I hope you’re writing in jest.

    You’re playing on every stereotype of a “redneck” the same way that Trump and his crowd play on every stereotype of us.

    You’re both disgusting.

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      July 27, 2019 at 2:38 PM

      Brandon, I know it’s over the top, and I know Chad ́s character is stereotyped. I also know that people like this do exist. Besides, I don’t think Chad is completely without redeeming qualities. He’s a product of his upbringing, but there’s a part of him that is open minded and willing to evolve. Maybe you’ll stick around long enough to see that unfold. In any case, thanks for your comment (aside from the personal insult).

    • Avatar

      Lateefah

      August 5, 2019 at 7:44 AM

      Brandon, manners pls.
      There was no need for the verbal assault.
      Besides, this is a real issue…because you have not been at the receiving end doesn’t mean it is over the top.
      I have been and it is not nice at all.
      Plus this is just a story….lets wait and see how it evolves and what we can learn from it.

      Peace.

  8. Avatar

    Sehide

    July 28, 2019 at 3:48 PM

    Salam alaikum Brother Wael. I have loved each and every story of yours, this is no exception! I cannot wait to see where this goes and how these characters develop. Please don’t be discouraged – Ignore the haters – the only thing you should concentrate on is critical input, not empty insults.
    Hope the next part is uploaded soon. It has been way too long since we got to read your writing.
    Wslm

  9. Avatar

    Aisha

    August 11, 2019 at 11:13 PM

    Salaam, when is part 2 going to be published?

    • Avatar

      UmmS

      September 17, 2019 at 1:05 AM

      Any updates on part 2?? Love all your stories, mashaAllah very well written!

      • Avatar

        Sarah

        October 20, 2019 at 12:45 AM

        Brother Wael, please keep writing. Please!!

  10. Avatar

    Asma

    September 8, 2019 at 2:08 AM

    Assalamu Alaikum
    Disturbing and uncomfortable, yes, but a story that must be told :-(. Looking forward to Part II. Looking forward to an end in goodness, positivity and hope.

  11. Avatar

    Sarah

    October 20, 2019 at 9:35 AM

    I didn’t read this yet, but I’m excited to! I just wanted to say I love your stories so much! I know it’s hard when it not receiving the response you’d like, but I reaaaaaaaaaallly wish your previous work would go into print. I want to read the whole story of Hasan and his gang again.
    I also reallllllyy want Zaid Karims story in print. Do you think these will ever happen?

  12. Avatar

    Aisha

    November 2, 2019 at 6:46 AM

    Please continue with part two…im so madly in love with it now n this story altogether.i 2ish you would continue.ignore those pepole who don’t appreciate your work and the fact that your only trying to make it as realistic as possible.you have my full support to continue writing the book as YOU want it to be

  13. Avatar

    Bint A

    January 9, 2020 at 11:47 PM

    Refreshing start, however perhaps too much action for a first chapter?

    It feels good when when the story builds slowly with compelling loose ends to draw the reader in for what’s to come.

    Yes I’m interested to read what happens next, but prematurely traumatised lol

    I imagine there will be a lot of negative buildup before things take a turn. Hopefully there are complexeties within the story to keep the reader engaged with other interesting elements rather than just the main plot.

    These are just my thoughts and how it came across for me. Hope you don’t mind…

  14. Avatar

    Moosa

    January 20, 2020 at 2:21 AM

    Just an enquiry on the words “Ruh Albi (Spirit of my heart)”. Shouldn’t it be “Ruh Qalbi” in Arabic, or is this perhaps a different language?

    • Avatar

      Wael Abdelgawad

      January 24, 2020 at 2:51 AM

      Yahya’s wife Samira is Egyptian. Egyptians do not pronounce the letter “qaf”.

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