Arabi-Englizi: a story about London… through Arab Eyes!
In his new book, Faisal J. Abbas describes the cultural differences he went through when he moved to the United Kingdom upon receiving a job offer to work with the leading pan-Arab, London-based daily, Asharq Al Awsat. Arabi-Englizi is a collection of observations about the British capital, combining journalistic reporting with anthropological commentary and personal experiences.
Given that I am a believer in Oscar Wilde’s definition of experience as ‘simply the name we give our mistakes,’ you will find that most of what I have written, and poked fun at, is a recollection of my own gaffes as an immigrant seeking to adapt to his new environment.
– Faisal J. Abbas
لندن كما عشتها وعايشتها وتعايشت معها
بعد حصوله في عام 2003 على عرض للعمل صحفيا في لندن، أمضى فيصل ج. عباس نحو عقد من الزمان يتأمل تفاصيل وتعقيدات وتناقضات هذه المدينة الكبرى. وبمزيج من فضول المهاجر وحياد الصحافي، يروي لنا من خلال هذا الكتاب تجارب عمل، وعلم، وعشق تعكس ما يخوضه المغترب في بيئته الجديدة من أسئلة محيرة ومواقف طريفة يسردها بخليط من الجدية المهنية تارة، وبسخرية لاذعة تارة أخرى.
لأني أؤمن بتعريف “الخبرة” كما يصفها الكاتب الإيرلندي الشهير، أوسكار وايلد، حين قال إنها “مجرد الاسم الذي يطلقه البشر على أخطائهم”، فستجدون أن مُعظم ما كتبت عنه – وسخرت منه – كان “تخبيصاتي” كمُهاجر جديد سعى جاهداً للتأقلم مع بيئته الجديدة.
– فيصل ج. عباس
Tale of Two Kingdoms
Faisal J. Abbas, who hails from Jeddah on the western coast of Saudi Arabia, is certainly unlike many of his Arab counterparts who come to the West bringing their habits and traditions with them, and refrain from adapting to the new life that they now lead.
Through this book, Faisal does quite the opposite by demonstrating a deep knowledge of British life. Contrary to many other similar books, his writing reflects a rich experience.
– Othman al-Omeir, renowned Arab publisher and legendary LondonerBuy now
MEET THE CHARACTERS
The narrator and main character… an aspiring Arab journalist who at 23-years-old wins a “golden-ticket” to become a section editor with a leading regional newspaper based in London. After relocating from his hometown of Jeddah in Saudi Arabia to the British capital, he realizes that there is much more complexity to life in Britain than he might have imagined!
Author of “Watching the English,” an anthropology book which tries to decipher the cultural codes of life in England. The book serves as a crucial survival tool for Faisal in the UK and most importantly, cracks the mystery of the everlasting British obsession with talking about the weather.
Provides Faisal with his first London A-Z, another survival tool which introduces our hero to the art of reading a map and saves him from the awful embarrassment of continuously arriving late to appointments. (Note to all you millennials: an A-Z booklet is what Londoners used for navigation long before Google Maps and GPS came to be)
"The Dodgy Edgware Road-ian"
A British-Yemeni “wheeler-dealer” who Faisal meets on Edgware Road and ultimately tricks him into illegally renting a council flat at a reduced price. When he failed to present paperwork to the authorities who came knocking on the door, the scam was revealed and the lesson was learned to always rent from a reputable estate agent.
"Good girl gone bad"
A conservative British-Egyptian young lady who the main character tries to date but then breaks up with after she tells him that she longs for a “real man” from the days of the Islamic Caliphate. Years later, he finds out that she was secretly dating an English photographer who took pictures of her as a Page 3 model!
A nasty villain and the focus of much of the author’s journalistic work following the 7-7 terrorist attacks which he also covered for his newspaper.
Course leader and director of post-graduate studies at a London university whom the author meets and befriends upon deciding to do his master’s degree on a part-time basis. Professor Pike proves to possess progressive points-of-view, particularly on politics, and has great influence over Faisal.
Upon leaving his job in journalism, Simon takes Faisal in and introduces him to the fascinating world of advertising sales. With all odds against him given the 2009 financial crisis and his lack of experience, Faisal learns that “success is driven by belief”.
2016 Pre-Launch Trailer
Arabi Englizi Gallery
Buy the Book
Arabi-Englizi is scheduled to go on general release and will be available at all Virgin Mega Stores, and other major bookstores in the UAE later on.
More details about other regional/international launches and where to buy the hardcopy or download a digital edition coming soon… stay tuned!
Pre-order your copy, fill in the following form
This book is available in Arabia via its UAE publisher, Kuttab Publishing www.kuttab.ae. An announcement about the book coming out in other languages is coming soon.