The Bride of Amman – L’Epouse d’Amman – عروس عمّان – La Sposa Di AmmaAn

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It is extremely honest of Fadi Zaghmout to lift the darkest and heaviest curtain on his society. The Bride of Amman tells of a society infested with taboos. In revealing the stories of women and men alike, and by capturing their thoughts and highlighting their tragedies whilst growing into adulthood, we learn to appreciate their sacrifices and share their struggles in an impressive bid for freedom. A very courageous debut.

– Hanan Al-Shaykh, author of Women of Sand and Myrrh, The Story of Zahra, and One Thousand and One Nights

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The Bride of Amman


The Bride of Amman, a huge and controversial bestseller when first published in Arabic, takes a sharp-eyed look at the intersecting lives of four women and one gay man in Jordan’s historic capital, Amman-a city deeply imbued with its nation’s traditions and taboos. When Rana finds herself not only falling for a man of the wrong faith, but also getting into trouble with him, where can they go to escape? Can Hayat’s secret liaisons really suppress the memories of her abusive father? When Ali is pressured by society’s homophobia into a fake heterosexual marriage, how long can he maintain the illusion? And when spinsterhood and divorce spell social catastrophe, is living a lie truly the best option for Leila? What must she do to avoid reaching her ‘expiry date’ at the age thirty like her sister Salma, Jordan’s secret blogger and a self-confessed spinster with a plot up her sleeve to defy her city’s prejudices? These five young lives come together and come apart in ways that are distinctly modern yet as unique and timeless as Amman itself.

Interested in reading it? Order it from Amazon.

Published: August 2015
Publisher: Signal8Press
Translated by: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp


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رواية عروس عمّان

غلاف عروس عمان

نسيج مضطربٌ يُحاكُ من شخصيَّات بعضُها غير متصالحٍ مع ذاته، وبعضها الآخر غير متصالح مع عائلته ومجتمعه. قد يظنُّ البعضُ أنَّ هذا النسجَ هو في خيال الكاتب؛ إذ إنَّ الوقائع لا ‘‘تنتمي’’ في معظمها إلى مجتمعنا ‘‘المحافظ’’. لكنَّ الحقيقةَ هي أنَّ معظمَ- إن لم يكُنْ كلُّ- ما وردَ هنا يحدُثُ على مسرح الواقع.

قد يفكِّرُ أحدُنا قائلًا إنَّ هذا يحدُثُ خلف الكواليس وليس على خشبة المسرح. لكنْ يبدو أنَّ ‘‘الجمهور’’ يجلسُ في الكواليس ظنًّا منه أنَّه يشاهدُ العرضَ الرئيسيّ، أمَّا العرضُ الرئيسيُّ فيحدُثُ في مكانٍ يظنُّ أغلبُ ‘‘الجمهور’’ أنَّه الكواليس.

ستقفُ حائرًا أمام شخصيَّات هذه الرواية. ستتعاطفُ مع بعضهم، وستشعرُ بالغضب على بعضهم الآخر. سترى أفرادًا ‘‘ينتمون’’ إلى عائلات متماسكة، بينما ‘‘ينتمي’’ أفرادٌ آخرون إلى عائلات متماسكة ‘‘ظاهريًّا’’.

قد تشعرُ بالهزيمة أمام واقع هذه الرواية الذي ترى أنَّه استفحلَ ولن يتغيِّر، لكنْ هناك دائمًا رجاء.


تاريخ النشر: الطبعة الأولى في يناير  ٢٠١٢
الناشر: جبل عمّان ناشرون


  1. قراءة في “عروس عمان”… الرواية الأولى للكاتب فادي زغموت
  2. عروس عمّان: مراجعة رواية

L’Épouse d’Amman

L’Epoise d’Amman cover

L’Épouse d’Amman (reprise du titre original en arabe : Arous Amman), de Fadi Zaghmout, est la traduction d’un best-seller en Jordanie, sujet de vives controverses sans avoir été toutefois censuré. L’édition originale en arabe, publiée en 2012 aux éditions Jabal Amman à Amman, en Jordanie, fait toujours partie des meilleures ventes. Une édition en anglais a par la suite été publiée en 2012 aux éditions Signal 8 Press (Hong Kong).

Dans ce livre se mélangent humour et tristesse en un cocktail explosif qui entraîne le lecteur dans une réflexion sur la condition des femmes et des homosexuels dans le monde arabe. Quatre jeunes femmes et un jeune homme s’expriment tour à tour dans le récit, leurs voix alternant pour dire les drames traversés. À travers les différents épisodes de leurs vies relatés de manière directe et vive, avec de nombreux dialogues, sont mises en relief les épreuves auxquelles sont soumis les jeunes dans une société traditionnelle où des règles sclérosées de bonne conduite et la peur du qu’en dira-t-on régissent les relations amoureuses. Pour les femmes, c’est le mariage obligé, aussi vite que possible, des fiançailles réussies comptant beaucoup plus qu’un succès aux examens. C’est aussi la soumission à la puissance paternelle, avec les risques d’abus de toute nature que cela comporte. Et c’est, bien sûr, la valeur de la virginité, jalousement conservée car c’est l’une des conditions de l’ordre social tel qu’il est conçu et observé dans une famille qui veut conserver son rang. Pour les hommes, c’est l’obligation de se comporter de façon virile, avec tout ce que cela représente d’hypocrisie pour ceux que leur orientation sexuelle écarte du mode de vie socialement requis. Le résultat de tout cela : beaucoup de souffrances, l’exil parfois quand on a contrevenu gravement aux impératifs familiaux, et même la mort quand la situation paraît sans issue

Order it from Amazon.

Published: March 2021
Publisher: L’asiatheque
Translated by: David Knecht
Edited by: Thomas Scholari


  1. L’Épouse d’Amman
  3. Mardi conseil spécial confusion des sentiments : Loyauté/ L’épouse d’Amman/La première faute
  4. L’épouse d’Amman
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La Sposa Di Amman

La Sposa Di Amman book cover

Giordania, nell’Amman dei giorni nostri, cinque giovani, quattro ragazze e un ragazzo, vivono il passaggio verso la vita adulta scontrandosi con le imposizioni di una società che li vorrebbe conformi alle proprie regole. Troppo attuali per dire di sì alle norme, troppo normali, forse, per avere la forza di ribellarsi apertamente. La sposa di Amman non è una favola moderna con un lieto fine. In tutta la narrazione, c’è un senso di presentimento, di disastro imminente e la conclusione è drammatica e profondamente toccante. Man mano che il lettore si affeziona a ciascuno dei cinque personaggi principali, condividendo in una certa misura l’ambiente claustrofobico della capitale giordana, una città chiusa come un villaggio, diventa chiaro che la fuga potrebbe essere l’unica risposta. Fadi Zaghmout, col suo primo romanzo, crea un intreccio di storie che risulta essere una boccata d’ossigeno nel panorama della letteratura araba contempo- ranea, una spinta alla liberazione sessuale e di genere che, con lirismo, tratteggia la disperazione di un’intera generazione.

Published: Feb 2022
Publisher: MReditori
Translated by: Federica Pistono


  1.   La sposa di Amman di Fadi Zaghmout



An except from Arous Amman is translated to Serbian and part of this anthology that covered homoerotic stories appeared in different modern Arabic novels – SKRIVENA LJUBAV


Think Sex and the Citadel meets Ramadan soap: The Bride of Amman is a dramatic portrait of young men and women looking for love in a time of taboo. An insightful and impassioned account of the high cost of social conformity—in and out of the bedroom.

– Shereen El Feki, author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World.

Fadi Zaghmout engages the full range of human emotion as he confronts head-on the destructive, corrosive effects of prejudice, tradition, and male privilege on sexuality, sexual expression, and gender identity. Charged, dynamic, and engaging, The Bride of Amman is sure to disturb and please—and to remain with readers long after they’ve finished Zaghmout’s compelling narrative of four lives desperate for liberation.

– Matthew Weinart, Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies, Political Science & International Relations Department, University of Delaware.

In this book, Fadi Zaghmout beautifully criticizes the values of the Arab society, smoothly switches between ridiculing our most sacred traditions and exposing the devastating effects that they can have on our lives. We laugh and we cry but at the end we can’t but feel comforted that he managed to express what we all think and feel, ourselves.

– George Azzi, gender and sexual rights activist, co-founder of AFE and Helem

A powerful narrative, an intricate braid of secrets, exposing Jordanian society’s hypocrisy and obsession with the institution of marriage. Its pioneering feminist vision is a bid for tolerance, equality, and freedom. A compulsive read.

– Fadia Faqir, author of Willow Trees Don’t Weep

The Bride of Amman is unputdownable and a rattlingly significant read. Fadi Zaghmout creates a wonderfully distinctive polyphonic narrative of the characters’ selves trying to engage with the world around them to act or to make choices. While the novel voices the marginalization and disempowerment of its characters struggling to fit in a culturally conditioned and constructed subjective identity, it neatly weaves the narrative of its characters negotiating an active role within society’s power dynamics. A must-read novel to understand how subjective identity and culture shape one another.

– Wafa Alkhadra, Professor at American University of Madaba, Jordan

In The Bride of Amman, Fadi Zaghmout has written what I consider is one of the first Jordanian novels to challenge the taboos of gender exploration. Incredibly and skilfully, he manages to move us across that invisible line without anger, challenge, attitude, or negativity. He holds our hand and softly encourages us to explore new worlds within our familiar surroundings. A must read!

– Nermeen Murad, Chief of Party of USAID Takamol Gender Program; writer, columnist, gender-, and human-rights advocate

It is a brave book that weaves together lives that are in conflict with the diktats of religious, patriarchal, and societal mores—the three hegemonies that submerge and suffocate truthful expressions of gender and sexuality. The personal accounts are chilling, and I find a lot of resonance with similar issues faced by women and gay men in India. The book also offers hope that challenges can be overcome and life can be lived on one’s own terms within the matrix of our societies. The simplicity of the truthful writing, and the complexity of the emotions the characters undergo, takes the reader on a roller-coaster journey that is thought-provoking and invigorating. More power to Fadi and the book, and for empowerment of women and the LGBT community, world-over.

– Sridhar Rangayan, filmmaker and activist, Mumbai, India

The Bride of Amman evoked in my heart a longing for freedom. A bold and painful novel, it tells the stories of women I recognise, and I can see myself in them—I could have been one of them.

– Saba Mubarak, Jordanian actress and producer

Gender, sex, and sexuality: the unspoken issues in Arab societies are addressed creatively and sensitively in a novel that embraces all walks of life. Every Arab woman should read this book to gain more insight into empowerment of gender, feminism, and sexuality. Every Arab man should read this book to get a glimpse of what Arab women endure under male domination—and how their mothers, sisters, and homosexual brothers have had it tough.

– Madian Al Jazerah, owner of books@cafe, Amman, Jordan

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