Stories From The Middle East

Five stories from some of the most exciting contemporary voices from the Middle East.


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Butros Bustani - character actor, hypochondriac and ladies' man - returns to his home city of Beirut with the intention of proposing to his girlfriend, Layla.

Read by Emmanuel Toutoungi.

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By Persian writer Bahiyyih Nakhjavani.

From hr novel The Saddlebag.

A Bedouin thief makes his living by stealing from pilgrims along the road between Mecca and Medina.

But the theft of a mysterious saddlebag marks a turn in his fortunes.

Read by Nathalie Armin.

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By Israeli Writer David Margolis The inhabitants of an Israeli settlement weigh up their individual relationships with the local Palestinian family.

Read by Andrew Sachs


by Palestinian Writer Ghada Karmi.

As an old man, Saleem recollects his relationship with a beautiful young woman from Damascus.

Read by Zolfa Afrazi.

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by Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk.

An extract from Pamuk's award-winning novel set in Istanbul in the 1590s.

Black returns to his native city to help prepare a secret book for the Sultan - and to see the face of his beloved Shekure.

Read by Nadim Sawalha.