Judgment Day

Rasha al Ameer
Translated by Jonathan Wright

Brought up in poverty in a remote part of an unstable Arab republic, the narrator studies Islamic law and Arabic and becomes a cleric and civil servan

English edition
260 pp.
ISBN 9789774164811
For sale worldwide


Brought up in poverty in a remote part of an unstable Arab republic, the narrator studies Islamic law and Arabic and becomes a cleric and civil servant in the capital. At the age of almost 40 he accepts a position as imam of a mosque serving his compatriots in a richer and more cosmopolitan neighboring Arab country. His humdrum life changes when an educated and independent woman recruits him as consultant for a book on the great tenth-century Arab poet al- Mutanabbi. As their work together on his poetry leads to friendship and then love, the imam becomes embroiled in ideological conflict with activist Islamists at his mosque. Taken into protective custody after his enemies declare him apostate, and separated from the woman he loves, the imam chronicles how their relationship opened his eyes to a new world and taught him to overcome his old inhibitions. Judgment Day touches on debates within contemporary Islam and on the transformative and humanizing power of love between men and women.

Rasha al Ameer

Rasha al Ameer is a Lebanese publisher, cultural critic and author of two novels. Since 1990, she has co-directed Dar-al Jadeed, an independent Lebanese publishing house. She is also a partner in Umam, an NGO and film production company. Jonathan Wright is the translator of Khaled Al Khamissi’s Taxi and Alaa Al Aswany’s On the State of Egypt (AUC Press, 2011). Rasha al Ameer is a Lebanese novelist and publisher. She began writing while a student in Paris, with articles in the Arabic-language magazines An-Nahar al Arabi wal Douwali and Al Watan al Arabi. On her return to Lebanon she co-founded the avant-garde publishing house, Dar al Jadid, which has published works by former Iranian President Sayyed Mohammad Khatami and the late Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Judgment Day was first published in Arabic in 2002 as ‘Yawm el Din’ and has gone through six editions :three in Lebanon, two in Algeria, and one in Egypt. A French version, translated by Youssef Seddik, was published by Actes Sud Sindbad in 2009. Her devotion to the classical Arabic language is apparent throughout her writings.

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan  Wright is a British literary translator and former journalist currently based in London. His numerous translations into English most recently include, Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi, winner of International Prize for Arabic Fiction. He studied Arabic, Turkish and Islamic civilization at Oxford University and served both as Reuters' Cairo bureau chief and as Reuters’ U.S. foreign policy correspondent based in their Washington, D.C. office.