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Drought. Drought again! When drought seasons come, things begin to change. Life and objects change. Humans change too, and no more so than in their moods. It is not long before the reader of Endings discovers that this drought is not just an occasional condition but an enduring one, faced by a community on the edge of the desert, the village of al-Tiba. The exact location of this village remains undisclosed, thus, al-Tiba becomes a symbol for all villages facing nature unaided by modern technology. We hear of Abu Zaku, the village carpenter, of the Mukhtar, and above all of 'Assaf and his dog, and of the creatures which share the life of the community. But it is the people of al-Tiba as a group, who discuss and argue about their past, present, and future, and the forces of change. Endings is striking not only for its setting and narrative style, but for being a vivid commentary on the emergence of the modern city and its urban middle class.
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