Rabee Jaber

Rabee Jaber

The author of fifteen novels, the Lebanese writer Rabee Jaber was born in Beirut in 1972. He is the editor of Afaaq, the weekly cultural supplement of Al-Hayat, the daily pan-Arab newspaper.


Fiction by Rabee Jaber

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

During the violence and chaos of the Lebanese Civil War, a car pulls up to a roadblock on a narrow side street in Beirut. After a brief and confused exchange, several rounds of bullets are fired into the car, killing everyone in the car except for a small boy of four or five. The boy is taken to the hospital, adopted by one of the assassins, and raised in a new family.…
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The Mehlis Report

Fiction by Rabee Jaber

Translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid

A complex thriller, The Mehlis Report introduces English readers to a highly talented Arabic writer. When former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri is killed by a massive bomb blast, the U.N. appoints German judge Detlev Mehlis to conduct an investigation of the attack — while explosions continue to rock Beirut. Mehlis’s report is eagerly awaited by the entire Lebanese population. First we meet Saman Yarid, a middle-aged architect who wanders the tense streets of Beirut and, like everyone else in the city, can’t stop thinking about the pending report.…
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Abu-Zeid has made Rabee Jaber’s Beirut part of our imaginary landscape and added him to our constellation of fiction writers.

—Erik Noonan, World Literature Today

[An] unflinching thriller about trauma and forgiveness, set in the chaos of the Lebanese Civil War.

—Jeva Lange, The Week

Clever and illuminating.

—Malcolm Forbes, The National

A book as unique as its subject matter – messy, incomplete, at times unreliable, yet as haunting and alluring as memories themselves.

—Justin Stephani, Electric Literature

Jaber is interested in what it means to live in and with fear, not for one season but for a whole generation, two generations, three. He’s interested in the bones of Beirut, a city that has had to rebuild itself repeatedly after being razed in war in 140 B.C., then devastated by the earthquake of 551, then again during the civil war, a city whose name derives from the Canaanite be’erot — “wells” — the water table that still sustains it. He’s interested in what lies beneath, what nourishes us without our knowing.

—Paul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review

Jaber shares a delight in stories that defy conventional ideas about identity and the relations between East and West.

—Robyn Creswell, The New York Review of Books

A slim, powerful volume, now in deft translation by Kareem James Abu-Zeid … [Jaber] is a major force in Arabic literature.

—M. Lynx-Qualey, The Chicago Tribune

One of the greatest narrators on the Arabic scene.

Egypt Independent
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