7 years passed, still a best seller – Aroos Amman (The Bride of Amman)


Yesterday, an old time friend of mine, took a photo for “Aroos Amman” (The Bride of Amman” that shows the book in the best selling section of DNA Lifestyle Store in Al Abdali Mall.

I was happy to receive the photo and rushed to share it on all of my social media channels. The fact that “Aroos Amman” keeps on appearing in best selling lists after 7 years of its release, speaks volume. This is not the first time or place for it to be a best seller, in fact it was one of the top best selling books on Jamalon in 2012, the year it got released. It continuously appears in the best selling books section in the famous Jordanian bookstore “Reader”. It has been a best seller and a “recommended to read” at Virgin megastore for months. The audio version, made it to the most listened books list on storytel and the ebook is part of Abjjad’s all time most read books!

In Virgin Megastore Amman

The book been translated and published to English in 2015, and currently is getting translated into the French language, planned to be released next year.

Jamalon best selling list 2012

It has opened so many door to me, including securing an MA scholarship from the British Council to study in the UK in 2012. Invitation to different conferences and events in global cities from London, to Berlin, Salzburg and Pune

I have always wondered about the reason behind the success of this book. Why it ticks with so many people? It was my first to write, even before doing my MA in Creative Writing and Critical Thinking. It wasn’t perfectly crafted, and critics would point out the simplicity of its language or the shortages of the plot. Yet, it keeps generating strong reactions that surprises me till today, not just from my fellow Jordanians whom I mainly address in the book, but also from Arabs and foreigners from different countries.

For me it was a work of activism and I am more than happy to see it reach such heights. I wanted the voices of my characters to be heard, and they got heard. I wanted to give our youth hope, and for many I did. I remember a gay guy once told me that he keeps the book with him all the time, and place it next to his best when he goes to sleep as he feels protected by having it close by. That’s something I am so proud to hear. I remember a young woman once sending me a long letter stating how empowered she feels after reading the book and promising to stand up for her self and her rights. That’s also something I am so proud of. Even yesterday, after posting the photo of the book in the best selling list, I received a message from a guy who said it is his favorite book ever and that he remembers how he skipped his university classes and stayed home super excited to read it.

رواية عروس عمان بين الكتب الأكثر مبيعا في مكتبة ريدرز
Readers Bookshop

I don’t know what the magic in “Aroos Amman”. Maybe it has to do with giving a voice to a gay man that hasn’t been heard of in our society before, or hearing a Jordanian woman standing up to her body rights and sexuality, or maybe its magnifying our issues of gender and heavy social heritage, and showing how they have been affecting our lives negatively. I always say, I wrote it from my heart, and maybe that’s what made it tick. And I guess, thats what others see in it, like what a friend commented yesterday on the Instagram image, stating that it is successful because it is “honest” and “different”.

Thank you for all of the honest and different people who supported me and supported this book into such success. Hopefully we will seeing it reaching more people and maybe soon we will watch it as a movies on the big screens.. fingers crossed!

London launch for The Bride of Amman

رواية عروس عمان

Coming to English This Summer: Fadi Zaghmout’s Controversial, Feminist ‘Bride of Amman’


This summer, Fadi Zaghmout’s debut novel, The Bride of Amman, will be released in English, trans. Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp:

Read full article on Arablit blog:

Coming to English This Summer: Fadi Zaghmout’s Controversial, Feminist ‘Bride of Amman’.

Janna Ala Al Ard – A Book Review by Mohammad Taha


I am happy to read good reviews on goodreads around my 2nd book “Janna Ala Al Ard” (Heaven on Earth).

Once I heard that Fadi is coming up with a new novel, I couldn’t wait to get it in my hands.. Since “Aroos Amman” Fadi left us with the warmest and closest book to our reality and society, and now, he comes up with this new masterpiece telling our future.

“Janna Ala Al Ard” is a totally different novel than his first. He takes us with him to his wide wide imagination of the future, and to make it even closer to us, he talks about Amman’s future in year 2091.

The genre of the book is Sci-Fi, however, you feel so attached and your heart melt with so many subjects that we might have shed our eyes to while it was all among us. He makes the reader appreciate what he has at the mean time, while at the same time he takes you on a ride of the future and makes you want it so bad.

What a lot of people don’t know about “Janna Ala Al Ard” that it will make you cry. Yes, a Sci-Fi book will make you cry and touch your heart if not with all the content, by some of the stories that you will surely relate to (a mother’s loss, the love for a brother, imperfection of a marriage, the drive to lust and betrayal, the arrogance of some, or/and the kindness and simplicity of some… And a lot more).

If I want to talk about this book, I will need a whole new book to describe how sad I was that it didn’t have more pages as I just didn’t want it to end.
Its highly recommended, and I salute you Fadi for the great work.. Please keep inspiring us.

Gratitude for those who helped me finish my second book


I thought that writing my second book would be easier than writing my first. It turned out that it is not. It was much harder, I don’t know why. In my first, I used to think that whatever I write is good enough, but that changed with my second and I became more critical about my own work. Perhaps it has also to do with the nature of the two books, where the first addresses issues of gender and sexuality that I excel at and the second is more of a science fiction addressing issues of ageing, life & death, and human nature.

I know that many other writers prefer to keep their work till they finish it before they let anyone read a line of it, but I am not like that. I need continuous feedback when I write, the more the merrier. Thus, having supportive friends who takes on the journey with me is a priceless service they offer me. For that I would love to thank:

1. Ghadeer Janineh, Ayman Al Hmoud and Lubna Al-Shami reading my progress chapter by chapter and giving me your continuos support and feedback helped me so much. I loved Ghadeer and Ayman passion for the story, always excited to read more and pushing me to rush and finish chapters just to see your reactions guys! It was different for Lubna, because she is more critical. At some point, I came to think that if Lubna thinks it is good, then it means it is good! I appreciate your help Najeeb Mahfooz!

2. Yousef Al Nabulsi: is very hard to please, and I haven’t pleased him yet. I am thanking him not for his continuous support in reading the story chapter by chapter but for his hard reaction on the first run of the story that prompted me to rethink it, throw it away, and rewrite the whole thing. I hated him at first but then I realised that he wanted the best for me. Sometimes, we need a clapping hand to carry on, but we also need a slapping one to get back on the right track.

3. Rima Adeeb Soudah, Farah Kamal Zaghmout and Kamal Zaghmout: mother, little brother and dad. Thank you for reading the final version of the book and for going through it and catching all of my language mistakes. I would never have had this self confidence and believe in my abilities without your continuous love and support. I love you dearly.

4. Rami Nabulsi and Natasha Abbadi: my supportive best friends. I miss those thursday nights in your home in Amman talking about the book. Telling you what I wrote or have in mind for the following chapters and examine it against your critical minds.

5. Haitham Al Dawoud: though not much of a reader, the book needed a sense of style. I would never have gained the ability of describing my characters aesthetics without your influence on my life. It isn’t only reflected on the characters, but the writer himself! Thank you!

6. Fares H. Hassan: Fares is a brilliant writer himself. He is a rebel and honest with himself and with people around him. I loved his review of Aroos Amman and was happy for his Janna feedback. He helped me correct some instances and come up with the titles for chapters.

I am sure that I have missed many others. I would like to thank all of my family and friends. Without all the love in my life, I wouldn’t have finished this book.

Subversive futures: a look at contemporary Arab Sci-Fi


It is good to see some interest in Arabic SF literature at the time of launching my first one.. Janna Al Ard is coming soon 🙂

VERSIONE BETA

Snapshot of a Jordanian theater play themed on Sci-FI (photo via @Team Travel Turkey) Snapshot of a Jordanian theater play themed on Sci-FI (photo via @Team Travel Turkey)

CAIRO, 2023. The country is split in two: within the high walls of a gated community perched in the north east of Egypt lives a super-rich and secluded elite in a compound called Utopia, while the rest of the population, named The Others, lives in a post-apocalyptic Cairo riddled by poverty, drug abuse, and violence.

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A review by Merissa Khurma: Aroos Amman


عروس عمان

Such a nice review.. thank you Merissa

Congratulations, Fadi, on a well-thought out and neatly woven novel. You have captured the most intricate and most intimate layers of our Jordanian social construct in an emotional and deeply stirring tale of many tales. You have done a marvelous job in deconstructing our society’s norms through each character’s thoughts and feelings that are often unheard, unsaid and almost always dismissed if ever expressed vocally. Amman Bride, to me, is about identity…how your gender in our society defines your identity and thereby decides FOR you, your status, your role, your boundaries, your lifestyle, your behavior at times and your scope of activities. What is most inspiring about your women characters Laila, Rana and Hayat is their inner strength to challenge society and to overcome their inner most fears, confusion and hesitation not only to find peace and happiness but also to try to understand who they really are as Ammani women. Ive always believed in the power of human stories to instigate change; change of attitudes and norms towards gender inequality (especially women) which, continues to delay our growth and evolution as a society. Amman Bride is a breath of fresh air for the struggling survival or should I say revival of the Jordanian novel, which deserves our full support as Jordanians. When I read the Girls of Riyadh a few years ago, I thought to myself; I wish I can write the Jordanian version. You beat me to it! Congratulations once again and I look forward to your next one inshallah.

Salamat, Merissa Khurma

A reply from a gay husband: why do we force people to live in hell before they’ve even died?


A while ago, a woman, and after reading Aroos Amman, sent me a letter on Facebook, telling me her story of being tricked into a fake marriage with a gay man who soon left her. She said that she felt like both Laila and Salma in the book for what she went through in her marriage and now what she is going through fearing of ending up alone for the rest of her life.

Today, a gay man replied to that post under the nickname Aziz. He is giving a similar account to Ali in the book. He has been married for five years now and feeling horrible for not being able to give his wife what she needs. He was driven to take this move by family expectations, social pressure and religious fears.

I leave you to read his words, but I wonder, till when are we going to push people into fake relationships? ones that defy their nature? Isn’t it about time to spread a decent sexuality education in our schools?

Continue reading →

A letter from a woman who found out her husband is gay


I have been receiving some overwhelming messages on Facebook from people touched by the stories of the characters of my novel 3aroos Amman. Many have been thanking me for how much the book expressed their emotions. Many have identified themselves in the characters and read their own stories in these story lines.  When I wrote the book, I wanted to be a real reflection of the state of society around me. It highlights the issues from a feminist perspective. I am glad that it is reaching to people and giving them different kinds of emotions. For me, this is enough, this is rewarding, to just know that many people who felt isolated, alone, in dispair, would know that they are not alone, and that many others have gone through the same.

Here is a letter from a woman who identified with two characters, Laila & Salma. It contains some spoiler, but a very touching message that I wanted to share with you after taking her permission. She sent it from a fake profile on Facebook under the name Jane. My heart is with you Jane.

I really adored the novel for a special reason which is that I am Layla & Salma..Am a 29 year old girl who got divorced after 2 months of marriage to a gay husband and about a long period of engagement.

This experience changed my life upside down, made me lose all my dreams and made it so hard for me to trust any person in the whole world. I had a problem for some time with my beliefs and morals. Am religious, so conservative in my life..used to love everyone and help everyone in need. Am no longer the same, though I can say am somehow back on track.

This man that I married used to make me feel that am a queen, I really used to feel that he loved me and I loved him deeply. The only thing I asked from him is to make me feel safe. During the engagement, sometimes I felt that something is wrong but I always gave excuses.

One time during the engagement, I saw by accident a gay site on his laptop. I was shocked, but immediately refused any thought as he is religious and respectable and would never do anything like this.

Anyways, we didn’t consummate our marriage until a long time after the wedding day and with the help of Viagra.
I always felt that he didn’t want me and any act of affection would be out of duty. Not once did I feel that he loved being around me, just like layla used to say. I always felt something is wrong. Until one day I saw a msg from him to a guy with very inappropriate words. I didn’t say a word. We used to fight a lot on silly things. He loved being out of the house.A week later, he told me that he wanted divorce because we are not getting along.

I confronted him and he admitted. I gave him a chance that if he stops I will stand by his side and help him to quit. I visited many psychiatrists. He refused at first then accepted , I guess because he was afraid from my family and his. Anyways it is a long story and I gave many chances and he let me down , not once I felt that he wanted me at his house. And my biggest shock was when I knew that his family knew about him and made him go through with the marriage.

Anyways, I loved the story because I saw all the emotions and feelings that I felt before in Layla, expressed in an amazing way. If I wrote my story, it wont be as expressive of the truth as yours. I couldn’t help but cry with each line, cause it brought back lots of memories and emotions.

But I don’t agree with the ending. I know that layla chose this ending because of the society but how can she be friends with him? How can she accept knowing that he goes to have sex with guys? What husband would ask his wife to sleep with other men if she wants? Is this marriage? What happened to all the sacred feelings and commitments of marriage? What will happen to her son when he discovers his father is gay?

Let me tell you that living with a gay husband, is not a problem because of lack of sex only. This is a minor part and many would live without it.I used to think that he is impotent and that wasn’t a problem for me at all. But the problem is these men can’t live with a woman. Fights would be the title of their marriage because they always feel that they cannot live this world.it is not theirs.

Why would I pity him ? he knew about himself all the time and dragged me to this hell. When God created marriage, He did it between man and woman to complete and satisfy each other which is not the case in gay straight marriage. I don’t agree with your ending cause I feel it is filled with ظلم. And I don’t think that it is applicable, it is not marriage. The deceipt , lies and betrayal cannot make 2 people live with each other happily, and friendship is something else than marriage.

I really thank you for writing this amazing novel and for showing all these emotions. I can say am Salma now, cause am about to be thirty , am dying to have kids, but I will never be able to have one because of my age and being divorced. When I read what you wrote about salma talking about her imaginary daughter I cried, because I was saying these exact words to my friend few days earlier. Now I have no option except doing volunteer work with orphans. I wish we can adopt but as you said it is not acceptable.

So thank you for talking to me through the novel, and for making me feel that someone understands what am going through. I wish that gay guys would never marry, cause they would be literally killing the girls..7aram..

Sorry for the long letter but you gave me a chance to express myself because I cant do this. Cause I cant tell people about him and my feelings , and even if I do they won’t understand.

I will never forgive him for ripping my life.

De-aging, my new obsession


Ending Aging

I have always took death for granted. Hated it, had a deep sadness for the fact that it is inevitable, and panicked over it for many many times. Not until last year, when I stumbled upon an article on GQ magazine where in a published interview with a scientist, Aubrey De Grey, he said that he believes that we are pretty close to defeat aging.

Hope filled my heart back then. For, defeating aging means a much longer life, one that won’t just end in a blink of an eye. It also means, and if arrived soon enough, to have the chance to see my parents young again and healthy for ever (fingers crossed).

It wasn’t just hope that filled my heart, but also many ideas occupied my head, for the impact of defeating again would turn the human societies upside down with lots of new beliefs, values and perception of life. It is a major change in the life we know and  a drastic shift in the core of  human societies we had for thousands of years. Those ideas turned into a new obsession, obsession to examine what life would be when death from aging becomes part of our history. How would people react initially? what would be its impact on our current belief systems and religions? and what is it like to live for 1000 year or even 10000?  Continue reading →