A bildüngsroman suffused with humor and irony, Dancing Arabs facilities on a tender boy from a bad Arab village, his haphazard receipt of a scholarship to a Jewish boarding university, and the dislocation and alienation that ensues while he reveals himself confronted with the most unlikely: the central to straddle famously incompatible worlds.
As a baby, our anonymous narrator/antihero lives along with his kinfolk in his grandmother's condo. His grandmother and father consistently provoke upon him the importance in their land: while such a lot of humans fled or offered theirs away, they held robust. "Better to die battling on your land than to offer it away."
Every evening after his brothers go to sleep, he climbs into mattress along with his grandmother, his major resource of convenience and safeguard. One evening she tells him the place the most important to her mystery cabinet are, and if she may still die, he needs to locate the entire dying gear within the blue bag. Paranoid from then on, he races domestic on a daily basis at recess to determine if she's died. someday he will get there and she or he isn't there, so he unlocks the cabinet and pulls out the field. All he unearths are towels and a few soaps from Mecca, yet then he notices his father's picture within the outdated newspaper lining the suitcase, and a few postcards in his father's handwriting. At his urging, his grandmother tells him concerning the newspaper clippings: his father used to be continuously "the handsomest and the neatest" in Tira, till he was once thrown in detention center for his political job (eg: bombing a faculty cafeteria). The grandmother visited her son a week, wrote letters to the mayor, an individual who could possibly aid her son. whilst he was once published years later, he remained politically energetic, revering the Egyptian president Nasser, and for a time, joined the communist party.
The younger narrator is not anything like his father, who "doesn't know the way my brothers and that i got here out the best way we did. we won't even draw a flag. He says childrens smaller than us stroll in the course of the streets making a song 'P-L-O----Israel NO!' and he shouts at us for now not even realizing what PLO stands for." under no circumstances politically encouraged, the boy understands not anything of nationwide id; he easily desires to get throughout the university day with out getting smacked via his teacher.
He excels in school and his kin desires that by the point he graduates, they are going to have their very own kingdom and he'll turn into a pilot, or a pass judgement on. someday the crucial tells him the Jews are commencing a college for presented scholars and they'll be admitting a number of Arab little ones too. he's authorised and his father whoops with joy-this will suggest a greater existence for his son and his entire family.
His transition in school is particularly tough. the opposite scholars make enjoyable of the way he speaks and eats. On a bus domestic to Tira in the course of his first university holiday, he's singled out and pulled off the bus by means of a few infantrymen. Humiliated, he proceeds on his trip domestic, yet will get off of 2 extra buses fearing that he'll be wondered back. He lands up at Ben Gurion airport the place his father has to return get him. He cries the full method domestic and says he's by no means going again. His father mocks his tears and his weak point and tells him he has no choice-this is his in simple terms likelihood to flee the constraints of existence in Tira. (The tug of battle among father and son maintains during the novel, the daddy placing his hopes and aspirations onto his son, in addition to his defeats and disappointments.)
He is going again to varsity, yet in basic terms after finding out that he'll by no means be pointed out as an Arab back. He turns into knowledgeable at assuming fake identities: he shaves off his moustache, learns tips to pronounce Hebrew just like the Jews, buys new outfits, begins hearing simply Hebrew track. quickly he falls in love with Naomi, one in every of his Jewish classmates. On Memorial Day for the Fallen squaddies, the narrator doesn't rise up through the second of silence, and Naomi, whose father had died in motion, refuses to talk to him. finally, Naomi admits that she loves him too, and for your time, they're jointly regardless of their ameliorations. She initiates him right into a new global of motion picture theatres and eating places, and for the 1st time he learns that Zionism is an ideology, no longer a swear observe; that his aunt is named a refugee; that Arabs in Israel are referred to as a minority; he learns the which means of either nationwide fatherland, and anti-semitism.
As the top of his ultimate time period attracts close to, he's always drained and dizzy, can't sleep or devour. He understands that he and Naomi must get a divorce while college ends. he is taking a bottle of tablets the evening ahead of an important examination, and lands up within the health center. His father comes and blames it on "that Jewish whore." After a brief convalescence, he unearths himself at Hebrew college. He trails Naomi in class, yet she avoids him. He stops going to class-he makes use of his limitless bus go to trip the streets of Jerusalem for hours hearing his walkman. this is often how he meets Samia, an Arab scholar who asks him how you can Hadassah health facility at some point; he is taking her there himself they usually areeeeee a pair from then on. 4 years later he comes to a decision it's time for them to marry. He and his spouse are either Israeli voters and recognize Hebrew good, however the narrator, a misplaced son, has no position to return to after having been uncovered to the tempting Israeli event from which he's barred. He and his spouse circulation to Beit Tsefafa, an Arab local the place they do not know a person. quickly the second one intifada starts to rage-the narrator refers to it as "the war." He starts off consuming seriously. He blames his father for his optimism, his religion that it'll all prove good for them, that his going to the boarding institution could make a difference.
His aimlessness and self-loathing deepen and spiral: he grows except his spouse, he beverages, fantasizes approximately taking a lover, and is preoccupied with all his mess ups. via his self-destructive haze, he makes a decision he'll make every little thing right-he and his spouse will sleep jointly peacefully, like spoons, he will hand over ingesting, he will begin praying, he will develop into politically lively, a member of the Knesset. He even makes a pilgrimage to Mecca along with his one Arab buddy from boarding college. however the largest revelation he has there's that there's no beer in all of Saudi Arabia.
One evening the narrator is at a bar looking at Arabs take over the dance flooring. he's disgusted by means of their ugliness, their loss of grace and self-consciousness. He affirms that Arabs shouldn't be allowed dance, not just simply because they appear ridiculous, yet simply because they make him, the narrator glance ridiculous. On Land Day in March, his spouse is going together with her family members to their outdated village, that's now a Jewish local. They costume up and produce a picnic as they do on each Land Day and Independence Day. His father criticizes her relatives, those "refugees"-if they truly enjoyed their land, why did they go away it within the first place?
After a visit to Egypt, his father provides up on his goals of liberation and statehood. He used to be stopped at a border crossing for hours and whatever in him broke. Now he does not are looking to struggle to any extent further. He hates Arabs: "It is best to be the slave of your enemy than to be the slave of a pacesetter from inside of your individual people."
In the ultimate scene, the narrator and his spouse and child are napping on a bed in his grandmother's room and his grandmother will get up in the midst of the evening and vomits. He will get as much as look after her and she or he tells him it truly is like this each evening, yet that it isn't dying that makes her cry, it really is that she used to imagine she'd be buried in her personal land and now she is familiar with that would by no means take place. The narrator and his grandmother sit down and so they either cry jointly. choked with funny observations, this can be eventually a significant ebook during which large human truths are brought within the so much deadpan tone, and during which the person self is misplaced to the strangling calls for of kin, heritage, and political realities.