Bab El-Oued by Merzak Allouache

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A novel on the impact of Islamic fundamentalists on Algeria. As loudspeakers blare exhortations by the imams, unemployed young men roam the streets seeking infidels, while women secretly read Harlequin romances.

About Merzak Allouache

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Published November 1, 1998 by Lynne Rienner Pub. 133 pages
Genres: Education & Reference, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Predictably “cinematic,” this energetic novel by a famed Algerian film director deftly surveys the embattled populace of a poor section of Algiers ruled by a platitudinous and ingenuous “Imam” and rife with both sexual tension and militant Islamic political activity.

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Publishers Weekly

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Characterization is clearly the novel's most important aspect, and though Allouache occasionally conveys a great deal through a well-drawn gesture, such as the flirtation of neighbors under terrible constraint, most of the characters remain vaguely abstract, neither allegorically nor realisticall...

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Time Out New York

Frustrated by the confines of Muslim society, and angered by the religious propaganda blaring across the casbah, Boualem (Abdou) rashly steals a loudspeaker rigged up by the militants.

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