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Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael

Selamlik by Khaled Alesmael


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In a series of interconnected vignettes this superb novel explores aspects of being gay in Syria, male desire and pleasure,  family, the savagery of civil war, the randomness of violence and the emotional upheaval of fleeing and becoming a refugee.

 Furat, a Syrian in his early 20s, visits Sibki Park in Damascus, which serves as a gathering place for gay men from all over the city. He learns about the Hammams, secret meeting places for gays located throughout the old city. Inside these public baths, the air is thick with the scent of bay laurel soap, and naked men hide in the steam. Despite society, religion and regime disapproval, Furat finds the love he seeks just before being forced to flee as his world changes. 


Khaled Alesmael is a writer and journalist from Syria, where he was co-founder of a major music radio station. Now based in London, his writings on sex, LGBTQ+, and migration--in both English and Arabic--have a dedicated international readership. Throughout his career, he has lived and worked in several capital cities in the Middle East and Europe and received the International Visitor Program to the US for his work as an environmental journalist. His debut novel Selamlik has been widely acclaimed and was shortlisted for the 2021 German SKOUTZ Award. 


Leri Price is an award-winning literary translator of contemporary Arabic fiction. Price's translation of Khaled Khalifa's Death Is Hard Work was a finalist for the 2019 National Book Award for Translated Literature and winner of the 2020 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. Her translation of Planet of Clay by Samar Yazbek, also published by World Editions, was a Finalist for the 2021 National Book Award for Translated Literature. Price's other recent translations include Sarab by award-winning writer Raja Alem and Where the Wind Calls Home by influential Syrian writer Samar Yazbek.







  • Details

    Imprint: World Editions

    Publication Date: 2nd April 2024

    ISBN: 9781642861488

    Format: Paperback

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