Flying Carpets by Hedy Habra
Arab American National Museum
Written by Hedy Habra.
2013 Arab American Book Award Honorable Mention - Fiction
Flying Carpets is a story collection in the grand tradition of Arab storytelling. In it, Habra masterfully waves her writing wand and takes us on a journey as we read about people and places far away and encounter temples and mountain villages, gliding boats and fragrant kitchens, flaming fish and rich tapestries.
The stories recover lost, partially forgotten and imaginary spaces, progressing from the concrete to the universal. The first two sections move between Egypt and Lebanon with a touch of magic realism. In the second half of the collection, the characters become less rooted in time and space as the dreamlike elements intensify. Throughout the book, storytelling and fortunetelling evoke a mythical past that is at the same time lost yet alive: love, loss, the yearning for alternate worlds, and the need to reinvent oneself through art permeate its pages.