Al Kafir

They hang together, these al Kafir, cling to one another as flies do when they discover a carcass,  setting about tasks with tremendous attention and then scattering at the slightest disturbance.

Their skin bakes an unwholesome red in the sun, and despite their mastery of machines and firearms they are helpless as children, especially when alone.

This is perhaps why we seldom see them  so.

A man alone in the desert has only his soul between himself and Allah.

He is a moving shadow against the curtain of infinite stars that map the terrestrial world as clearly as a line drawn in the sand, only to vanish with the coming dawn.

The desert is Allah’s country.

When from its barren wastes life springs, it is all the more precious because of its rarity.

All the more fleeting.

All the more ridiculous.

These meat-faced al Kafir will never understand this.

They do not know silence.

They cannot know Allah.


What Pegman Saw: Saudi Arabia

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Add Yours
  1. Lynn Love

    An interesting slant, Josh. That view that the pink skinned foreigners are so alien to the landscape, to the cultural and beliefs of the resident population that they don’t sit comfortably anywhere within it. That they don’t understand the country and possibly never will. Great writing as always

      • Lynn Love

        Very interesting and odd man, Lawrence. He lived life to the full so that’s to be admired. But so often those kinds of people take others down with them, do damage along the way. And he’s no exception. My pleasure

    • J Hardy Carroll

      Thanks, Penny. I was thinking about some of the stories I’ve read by Arab authors. There is simultaneity of spiritual and secular that is often expressed in poetic terms, so I wanted to convey that as much as possible. I appreciate the comment.

  2. msjadeli

    An unbridgeable gap exists between the spiritual-oriented and conqueror/competitor-oriented in the human species. Your story is an good example of it.

Don't just stand there.