God in Pink
The debut book by Hasan Namir is a revelatory novel about being queer and Muslim, set in war-torn Iraq in 2003. Ramy is a closeted university student whose parents have died, living under the close scrutiny of his strict brother and sister-in-law. They exert pressure on him to find a wife, leaving him anguished and struggling to find a balance between his sexuality, religion and culture. Desperate for counsel, he seeks the advice of Ammar, a sheikh at a local mosque, whose tolerance is challenged by the contradictions between Ramy's dilemma and the teachings of the Qur'an, leading him to question his own belief system. (From Arsenal Pulp Press)
God in Pink won the 2016 Lambda Literary Award in the gay fiction category.
From the book
Forgive me. I don't know your name. After all, I have only seen you once. I hope you are able to help me since I have no one else to reach out to. I know you must be wondering why, out of all people, I chose you. I don't have the answer myself. But I can tell you this ... when I looked into your eyes, I thought you were somewhat different.
Now, I will begin my story.
Do you really know our city, Baghdad, sir? Most people would try to find eloquent words to describe it. For me, Baghdad is a city that has evaporated into tiny particles of filth. We often think that our lives are ordinary. We often look down on the streets, crowded with our fathers going to work, our children going to school, and our mothers praying for our souls and taking care of our homes. Some say that Baghdad has changed since the war, but I believe that things are the same. We are the same. I'm the same. Our Muslim brothers are the same. Everyone sees "justice" differently.
From God in Pink by Hasan Namir ©2015. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
Other books by Hasan Namir