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Six Days [a novel]

Halim Barakat, translated by Bassam Frangieh and Scott McGehee
ISBN: 978-0-89410-662-0
1990/121 pages
"A powerful novel... encompassing the defiant urge to bring about change versus stagnation, honesty versus corruption, committment versus retreat, love versus deception, torture versus fortitude and life versus death.... a punctuated flow of carefully crafted scenes which successfully engage the reader as a keen and active partner in the fate of Dayr Albahr and its inhabitants.”—Yasir Suleiman, Journal of Arabic Literature


Prophetically named for a real war yet to come, Six Days depicts the struggle of a fictional city under siege. Barakat tells the story of shy lovers, friends, increasing fear and anger, and finally the terror of war. The people of Dayr Albahr are confronted with an ultimatum: surrender or be destroyed. They choose to resist, knowing that they face inevitable defeat, but sustained by a determination to be free, and by the conviction that “ashes fertilize the land.” First published in Arabic in 1961.


Halim Barakat is research professor at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Widely published in both Arabic and English, his novels and short stories have also been translated into French, German, and Japanese.