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Book Synopsis:
Love Stories on al-Asha Street

Badryah El-Bishr

The events in Love Stories on al-Asha Street take place in the 1970s, on al-Asha Street in the populous district of Manfouha, Riyadh. Three heroines are searching for their freedom: Aziza hopes to find it through love and imitates Soad Hosny, the Cinderella of Arabic cinema, falling in love with an Egyptian doctor because he speaks the dialect of black and white films. Wadha, a bedouin woman, flees from poverty through work in the women's market, becoming its most important trader. Atwa literally runs away from her tiny village, changing her name and fate, and finds independence in the new environment of Riyadh. Their story begins in the romantic period of black and white films and lovers' trysts on the rooftops, where people sleep outside. However, with the advent of colour television comes a wave of religious extremism, opposing the social transformations which have changed the city. One of its first victims is Aziza's young neighbour, Saad. Searching for his identity, he joins the radicals led by religious activist Juhayman al-Otaybi, who famously occupied Mecca’s sacred Grand Mosque in 1979.  

about the author

Badryah El-Bishr is a Saudi Arabian writer and novelist, born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in 1967. She obtained a doctorate in Philosophy of Arts and Sociology from The Lebanese University in 2005 and worked as Assistant Professor at Al Jazeera University, Dubai, from 2010 -2011. In 1997, she began writing a weekly article for the Saudi magazine, Al Yamama, and became well-known for her articles, becoming the first Arab woman to win the prize for the best newspaper column at the Arabic Press Awards in 2011. She has written an almost daily column for Al Hayat newspaper since 2009. She is the author of three novels: Hind and the Soldiers (2005), The Seesaw (2010) and Love Stories on al-Asha Street (2013), as well as three short story collections.   

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