Many years ago on a day like today, a hard-faced young man sits reading the newspaper in a café in some small alley. He opens the page and a small headline catches his eye:Campaign to Round Up 15,000 Strays in Capital.
The young man smiles and reads on: As part of a plan to improve the quality of life for residents of the capital city, and to bolster Tunis’ image as a premiere tourist destination, the City Council has embarked on a campaign to catch fifteen thousand stray dogs. Headed by the Mayor, the council seeks to rid the city of approximately seven-hundred thousand dogs annually so as to ensure the safety and well-being of pedestrians throughout the municipality. To that end, it is encouraging citizens to help out in their capture.
[This piece is excerpted from the novel, al-Ghurila (Dar al-Saqi, 2011). Translated from the Arabic by Elliott Colla.]