Groetjes uit Vlaanderen, by Mohamed Ouaamari

Second paragraph of third chapter (Sura 114 of the Qur'an, in Dutch in the book but I'm giving both the Arabic original – the Warsh recitation, which is used in Morocco – and the English translation):

Zeg: ‘Ik zoek bescherming bij de Heer van de mensen. De Koning van de mensen. De God van de mensen. Tegen het kwaad van de wegsluipende influisteraar (Satan). Degene die in de harten van de mensen fluistert. Van de djinn en de mensen.’ قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ النَّاسِ مَلِكِ النَّاسِ إِلَهِ النَّاسِ مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ الَّذِي يُوَسْوِسُ فِي صُدُورِ النَّاسِ مِنَ الْجِنَّةِ وَ النَّاسِ     Say, "I seek refuge in the Lord of mankind. The King of mankind. The God of mankind. From the evil of the retreating whisperer (Satan). He who whispers into the breasts of mankind. From among the jinn and mankind."

Interesting autobiography of a Flemish writer and commentator with Moroccan roots; he tells the story of growing up between two worlds – decaying Antwerp suburbs and the Moroccan Rif – and the prejudices he faces at both ends, though more particularly at the Belgian end. And yet he identifies as Flemish before anything else, within a lasagne-like set of layers of identities, even when many of his fellow Flemings vote for parties that reject him and his people (there's a grim tale of being singled out as a ten-year-old Muslim by his schoolteacher in class after 9/11). He gives a particularly funny-not-funny account of being arrested at a business conference for making a joke on Twitter that, er, went down badly with the police. A really interesting account from a Belgian who like my own children has parents born outside the country, and has faced rather different challenges to our family. I hope it gets translated into French and English, though some of the humour is a bit Dutch-specific. (How can you translate "bakfietsvlamingen"???) Recommended for those who have the language. You can get it here.

This was the top unread book by a non-white writer on my pile. Next is Waste Tide, by Chen Qiufan,

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