Banthology Stories From Banned Nations edited by Sarah Cleave


Reading can be an escape, something transportative that takes you to different countries, cultures and states of mind.  It can take you to all the places that Donald Trump doesn’t want you to go.



in January 2017 Us President issued an executive order which called  Executive Order 13769 which later was called the Muslim Ban which prohibited citizens from seven countries from entering US for 90 days and these nations were  Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan.

well since i am Somali i really felt sorry for how US government saw us never rethink how this ban would affect many US citizens who originally were from these nations, what made America very appealing to many people around the world is now days slowly burning and with every news brief i see i see America i read about metamorphosing into something uncanny and unappealing to any one.

Just as i finished my university degree and though about traveling outside to discover countries and  other cultures  and maybe start my Master outside the country i discovered the meaning of being citizen of failed state which was unpleasant fact of being refused to enter many nations and many nations requires so many documents and exams which is unavailable currently in my country so the ban made the idea of traveling to US less appealing and released me from the elusive dream of visiting there.

but even the Ban will not hopefully affect my love for literature and my curiosity to learn about and hopefully will not affect how we see each other and treat each other.

the book first edition release coincided initially with the Trump travel ban although the ban has gone though many changes since then and the idea of the book was to give these seven nations some representation and who rump collectively see them as Terrorist,

Comma Press has commissioned seven writers from these nation to write in response to Trump Travel ban and the writers were asked to write books which explore themes of Exile, exile, travel, and restrictions on movement”.

the contributors to these book

  • Wajdi al-Ahdal
  • Rania Mamoun
  • Anoud
  • Fereshteh Molavi
  • Najwa Binshatwan
  • Zaher Omareen
  • Ubah Cristina Ali Farah

BIRD OF PARADISE by Rania Mamoun is a Sudanese author, journalist, and activist and this story describes young female who is trapped in Airport with no food and only survives in drinking water from tab and how her life in rural Sudan were and how her older dominated and affected her life choices, and now she is stuck in airport with she do not intend to leave but also unable to live in it since she is broke.

The good thing about airports is the freedom to sit wherever you like; no one asks you to leave or to move on. I sit here day in, day out, utterly bereft of everything. The few coins I brought with me are already spent and my pockets are now empty. I ate my last biscuit two days ago; half in the morning, half in the evening. All that remains is regret.

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO SMUGGLING by Zaher Omareen who is is a Syrian writer and researcher based in London and this story describes young Syrian who tries to migrate from Greece to France to Sweden and this one was the most funniest story in the anthology

The day of the trip, I prayed two rak’as1 for good luck and made my way to the airport. This was the only kind of relationship I’d had with God since I was a child: a strictly beneficial one. If I passed an exam, I gave a bit of money to the mosque. If I failed, they didn’t get a penny.

but the most depressing story in the anthology is RETURN TICKET by Najwa Binshatwan is a Libyan academic, novelist and playwright.

the story describes the village of Schrödinger which is cosmic anomaly and the city is able to fly and move around the world and space except for the US whose wall is getting higher and higher that even the town is unable to hover around it for too long and since the town tries every time to return the remains of six American tourists ye each time they fail because the wall is getting higher and higher and even the dead American are giving a voice and each console himself that they died before

‘It’s good that we died before America’s prison warden came to power.’

although this anthology is really short but it shows you literature from countries no one to visit or know about them and since this is my first introduction to Comma Press


    1. It really good publishing’s house and since my introduction to them was good I am really looking forward to read more of their books.
      Yes that’s what is important and amazing about literature is that they allow any person no matter his race creed or geography to travel anywhere while reading book.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Sounds like an interesting idea. We can only hope Trump’s time passes before he manages to completely destroy the America we all thought we knew. Must admit, and I know I’m a privileged Westerner, but America is about the last country in the world I’d want to emigrate to at the moment.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yes that is what I wish for no matter the stupid Americans do still the idea we associated with America is being attacked every day and all I hope he will never finish his term even.
      Well since am very knowledgeable about Western history I believe this will be a small incident and flu and hopefully America will return to what we used to believe is.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. This is yet another interesting find. Thank you for bringing this to my attention.
    What a wonderful way of bringing these “banned countries” (despicable Trump) into the (positive) limelight and giving them a chance to show the world what they are made of.

    Liked by 1 person

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