IBNA- 'Black Foam' (2018), a novel by Eritrean author and journalist Haji Jaber which explores the bitter experiences of Ethiopian Jewish immigrants in Israel has been published in Persian and is available at Iranian bookstores.
Longlisted for the International Prize for Arab Fiction, one of the most prestigious prizes for fiction in Arabic, 'Black Foam' has been translated from Arabic into Persian by Karim Asadi Asl. Morvarid Publication in Tehran has released the book in 251 pages.
The novel follows a group of Ethiopian Jews, the “Falash Mura”, who driven by poverty and desperation, emigrate to Israel in search of a better life. Amongst the group is “Dawit”. Although not a Jew, he invents a new identity, changing his name and history, so that he can travel to Israel alongside the Falash Jews. However, on arrival, he faces the trials and suffering experienced by dark-skinned immigrants in the country.
An excerpt from the book reads: “He placed the suitcase lightly into the tray, and then took off to meet it on the other side. However, the soldier across from him waved him back as he scrutinized the screen in front of him. The conveyer belt moved backwards, and as the suitcase emerged from the screener, everyone looked suspiciously at it and its owner. It moved again and disappeared inside the baggage screener.
The man crossed over for a second time to wait for it on the other side, but once more the soldier sent it back to where it had come from. The owner of the suitcase wanted to ask what was going on, but by this time the soldier was busy talking to a coworker. He stepped forward slightly, only to receive a stern gesture to stay where he was. Looking in his wife’s direction, he saw that she had finished going through inspection and was anxiously waiting for him.”
Haji Jabir (born 1976) is an Eritrean novelist and journalist. He was born in the city of Massawa on the Red Sea coast. He has published five novels until 2021. With the nomination of ‘Black Foam’ (2018), Jabir became the first Eritrean novelist to be longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction. He lives in Doha, Qatar