Free Bilingual Modern Arabic Short Stories You Should Read

Check out this free bilingual modern Arabic short stories with English translation by the Head of Arabic and Translation Studies and Professor of Arabic Studies at the American University of Sharjah, UAE Ronak Husni and Daniel L. Newman, a British writer, scholar and translator of Arabic literature.

free bilingual modern arabic short stories

Yes, Arabic short stories free download you can get them online right away.

The book title is “Modern Arabic Short Stories: A Bilingual Reader“.

It has twelve (12) famous Arabic stories by leading authors of the Middle East.

Many of the stories focused on the marginalized and deprived folks in society.

As mentioned in the introduction of the book, its main target audience is for students of Arabic.

Free Arabic Short Stories With English Translation

But those of you who would like to read contemporary Arab fiction, but who do not understand the Arabic language, fret
not, as each story is accompanied by an English translation.

Yes, you can just read the Arabic short stories in English.

Besides the 1988 Nobel winner for Literature Naguib Mahfouz, the other ten writers are: Izz al-Din al-Madani, Zakariyya Tāmir, Muhammad al-Zafzaf, Ibrahim al-Faqih, Hanan al-Shaykh, Muhammad Shukri, Idwar al-Kharrat, Salwa Bakr, Fuad al-Takarli, Layla al-Uthman and Yusuf Idris.

Before each story, there is a brief biography of the author, his or her key works and a brief background to the story.

After each story, is followed by a Language Note, with a glossary list and discussion of problematic language translations.

The twelve stories are:

The Tale Of The Lamp by Izz al-Din al-Madani (عز الدين المدني)
A Lonely Woman by Zakariyya Tamir (زكريا تامر)
The Sacred Tree by Muhammad al-Zafzaf (محمد زفزاف)
The Book Of The Dead by Ibrahim al-Faqih (أحمد إبراهيم الفقيه)
Quismati And Nasibi by Naguib Mahfouz (نجيب محفوظ)
Yasmine’s Picture by Hanan al-Shaykh (حنان الشيخ)
The Night And The Sea by Muhammad Shukri (محمد شكري)
At The Theatre by Idwar al-Kharrat (إدوار الخراط‎)
Ancestral Hair by Salwa Bakr (سلوى بكر)
A Hidden Treasure by Fuad al-Takarli (فؤاد التكرلي)
Night Of Torment by Layla al-Uthman (ليلى العثمان)
A Tray From Heaven by Yusuf Idris (يوسف إدريس)

The Tale Of The Lamp: Izz al-Din al-Madani

“The Tale Of The Lamp” is by the Tunisian writer Izz al-Din al-Madani, is just like one of those 1001 Arabian Nights and folk tales.

1001 Arabian nights stories

This allegorical tale is about a starving and desperate cobbler who leaves his family and home to search for food.

Then he stumbles upon a rich kingdom, and offers the Sultan his so-called his magic copper oil lamp; that seemingly can light up the world when the sun disappeared.

The events presented in the story are issues bedeviling our society.

A Lonely Woman: Zakariyya Tamir (Zakaria or Zakariya Tamer)

Zakaria Tamer syrian writer

This short tale of deceit is written by Syrian writer Zakariyya Tamir or Zakaria Tamer.

It is about a charlatan Sheikh Said who takes advantage of a naive and desperate woman Aziza.

Aziza seeks his help, hoping to to bring her husband who is out getting married again.

Under the guise of performing the magical ritual, he molests Aziza, but lies to her it is the the jinn (spirit) who is
touching her body.

Its core message is how traditional societies control and exploit women and danger of superstitious beliefs.

The Sacred Tree: Mohamed al-Zafzaf

Mohamed al-Zafzaf moroccan writer

“The Sacred Tree” also known as “The Holy Tree” is about the government who wants to cut down the tree, which the people believe has the soul of Sidi Daud, the man who planted it.

The message of this story by Mohamed Zafzaf aka “Moroccan Dostoyevsky” how the state is using neo-colorism to oppress and impose its rule on its people.

The Book Of The Dead: Ahmed Ibrahim al-Faqih

Ahmed Ibrahim al-Faqih Libyan writer

This story by Libyan writer Ahmed Ibrahim al-Fagih is about the confusion felt by a traditional male teacher at a boy’s school, upon finding the first female student ever in his class of male pupils.

It is humorous, yet dramatic and tragic at the same time.

Qismati And Nasibi: Naguib Mahfouz

naguib mahfouz short stories

Najib Mahfuz’s story “Qismati and Nasibi” is about the lives of a pair of conjoined twins from birth to death.

Qismati and Nasibi have different facial characteristics, personalities and desires, but they mutually dependent on each other.

This unique story is about human relationship which is fraught with contradiction and struggles.

Related: Here is a big collection of free Naguib Mahfouz
books in English

Yasmine’s Picture: Hanan al-Shaykh

Hanan al-Shaykh lebanese writer

Female Lebanese author of contemporary literature Hanan al-Shaykh’s “Yasmine’s Picture” is the lives of those in the Arab world who struggle with the traumatic stress of civil war.

The Night And The Sea: Muhammad Shukri (Mohamed Shoukri/ Mohamed Choukri)

mohamed choukri for bread alone

The Moroccan writer Muhammad Shukri’s “The Night And The Sea”, is about a young Moroccan prostitute Zubeida grappling with life’s deceptions.

At The Theatre: Idwar al-Kharrat (Edwar Al-Kharrat)

edwar al-kharrat egyptian writer

The story tells about the death of an iconic Egyptian actress who was popular in the Twenties.

Her name is not mentioned, but she was hailed as the Sarah Bernhardt of the East, the small Eagel, Hamlet, Cleopatra, Shajrat al-Durr, Desdermona, Bilquis, the Hanem and Layla Bint al-Fuqara’ all rolled into one.

From the story unfolded by the protagonist, you will find it is about estrangement, loneliness and alienation.

Ancestral Hair: Salwa Bakr

Salwa Bakr short stories

Egyptian writer Salwa Bakr’s short story “Ancestral Hair”, is about to women of different generations and different pasts, values and expectations.

This story also highlights the plights of single mothers in Muslim society.

Salwa Bakr uses the word “hair” as a metaphor connection between the two women in the story as both weak and strong.

A Hidden Treasure: Fu’ad Takarli (Fouad al-Tikerly)

Fouad al-Tikerly iraqi writer

In “A Hidden Treasure”, Iraqi writer Fu’ad Takarli tells a story about a weak-kneed man who meets his childhood sweetheart, Khadija.

Khadija, who is now has risen to become the wife of a high-ranking official at a Baghdad oil refinery, where he is working.

The story reveals how people deal with the changes and circumstances in life.

Night Of Torment: Layla al-Uthman (Laila al-Othman)

laila al-othman kuwaiti writer

Kuwaiti writer Layla al-Uthman’s “Night Of Torment” tells the story about the life of a lowly woman toilet attendant working in an airport.

It is about the aspirations, dreams and frustrations of two women of different social and economic backgrounds.

Laila al-Othman uses perfume and the sense of smell play as a symbolic role in the story.

A Tray From Heaven: Yusuf Idris

yusuf idris short stories pdf

This wonderful story is set in a small sleepy fictional village called Munyat al-Nasr.

The story starts off one Friday, with a man running across
the quiet village….

It is about poverty, solidarity, tradition and superstitious belief.

So these are the free bilingual modern Arabic short stories which you may like to read.

If you are interested to read these stories, go to any of the links below.

Free Bilingual Modern Arabic Short Stories

Here are five sources where you you can get this free bilingual modern Arabic short stories with English translation.

modern arabic short stories pdf

Modern Arabic Short Stories: A Bilingual Reader
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 4, Link 5

Famous Arabic Short Stories PDF

Related: This is another big collection of famous modern Arabic stories you might also like to read them too.

You will find famous Arabic short stories in English by more than one hundred and forty prominent Arab writers of fiction.

The extensive work of modern Arabic fictions featured stories about the impact of modernity, the rise of the oil economy, political authoritarianism, corruption, religion, poverty, and the Palestinian experience in modern times.

modern arabic fiction an anthology free

Modern Arabic Fiction: An Anthology, Edited by Salma Khadra Jayyusi
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2

Here are some more free ebooks by some of the above authors, also translated in English.

tigers on the tenth day and other stories free book

Tigers On The Tenth Day and Other Stories By Zakaria Tamer, Translated by Denys Johnson-Davies
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2

breaking knees sixty-three very short stories from syria

Breaking Knees: Sixty-three Very Short Stories By Zakaria Tamer, Translated by Ibrahim Muhawi
Click on this: Link

the elusive fox muhammad zafzaf

The Elusive Fox By Muhammad Zafzaf, Translated From The Arabic By Mbarek Sryfi And Roger Allen
Click on this: Link

monarch of the square muhammad zafzaf

Monarch Of The Square: An Anthology Of Muhammad Zafzaf’s Short Stories, Translated From Arabic By Mbarek Sryfi and Roger Allen
Click on this: Link

five novels by ahmed fagih

5 Novels By Ahmed Fagih
Click on this: Link

30 Short Stories Ahmed Fagih

Thirty Short Stories By Ahmed Fagih
Click on this: Link

Homeless Rats Ahmed Fagih Free Book

Homeless Rats By Ahmed Fagih
Click on this: Link

one thousand and one nights hanan al-shaykh

One Thousand And One Nights: A Retelling By Hanan al-Shaykh, Translated By Catherine Cobham
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2

the occasional virgin free ebook

The Occasional Virgin By Hanan al-Shaykh, Translated By Catherine Cobham
Click on this: Link

beirut blues hanan al-shaykh

Beirut Blues By Hanan al-Shaykh, Translated By Catherine Cobham
Click on this: Link

the story of zahra hanan al-shaykh

The Story Of Zahra by Hanan al-Shaykh, Rendered Into English By Peter Ford With The Author’s Cooperation
Click on this: Link

women of sand and myrrh

Women Of Sand And Myrrh By Hanan al-Shaykh,Translated By Catherine Cobham
Click on this: Link

i sweep the sun off rooftops

I Sweep the Sun off Rooftops By Hanan al-Shaykh, Translated By Catherine Cobham
Click on this: Link

only in London hanan al-shaykh

Only In London By Hanan al-Shaykh, Translated From The Arabic By Catherine Cobham
Click on this: Link

the locust and the bird free book

The Locust And The Bird: My Mother’s Story By Hanan al-Shaykh, Translated From Arabic By Roger Allen
Click on this: Link

rama and the dragon edwar alkharrat

Rama And The Dragon By Edwar al-Kharrat, Translated By Ferial Ghazoul And John Verlenden
Click on this: Link

stones of bobello edwar al-kharrat

Stones Of Bobello By Edwar al-Kharrat, Translated By Paul Starkey
Click on this: Link

the man from bashbour free ebook

The Man From Bashmour By Salwa Bakr, Translated By Nancy Roberts
Click on this: Link

the golden chariot free book

The Golden Chariot By Salwa Bakr, Translated By Dinah Manisty
Click on this: Link

the long way back modern arabic novel

The Long Way Back: A Modern Arabic Novel By Fuad al-Takarli ,Translated By Catherine Cobham
Click on this: Link

the cheapest nights and other stories

The Cheapest Nights, And Other Stories By Yusuf Idris, Translated By Wadida Wassef
Click on this: Link

the sinners yusuf idris

The Sinners By Yusuf Idris, Translated By Kristin Peterson-Ishaq
Click on this: Link

city of love and ashes yusuf idris

City of Love and Ashes By Yusuf Idris, Translated By R. Neil Hewison
Click on this: Link

streetwise mohamed choukri book free

Streetwise By Mohamed Choukri, Translated By Ed Emery
Click on this: Link

For Bread Alone Novel Free

For Bread Alone By Muhammad Shukri, Translated By Paul Bowles
Click on any of these: Link 1, Link 2, Link 3, Link 3, Link 5

Free For Bread Alone Movie

In 2004, this controversial much-banned autobiographical novel by Moroccan writer Mohamed Choukri was adapted to cinema by Italian Rachid Benhadj

for bread alone free film

It starred by French American actor Said Taghmaoui, together with Sana Alaoui, Marzia Tedeschi, David Halevin, Karim Benhadj, Giovanna Spuria and Ahmed El Kouriachi.

The film title in Italian is “Il Pane Nudo” and “El Khoubz El Hafi” in Arabic.

The dialogues are in French, Italian, and Arabic.

You can watch the free For The Bread Alone film here.

Disclaimer: I do not publish or host the book on this site. It is copyrighted to their respective owners. All content cited is derived from their respective sources.