(working title)

Written by

(محمود تراوري)

Published by


A novel about African migration to Mecca

The novel begins with Maimouna, the titular character; grandmother to a family of many children and grandchildren, as she sits with them and narrates the story of her family. Her father left the African continent with his brother and wife, escaping Christian missionaries, and headed towards Mecca where he hoped to find refuge. Maimouna’s story is similar to hundreds of thousands of African Muslims who immigrated to what is today Saudi Arabia, carrying with them the songs, culture, and stories of their homeland, which then became integral to the culture of the Hijaz region. The novel aims to destigmatise Afro-Saudis who continue to face racist stereotypes and labels. This novel is a remarkable addition to Arabic literature, and one of the few to address race and racism, blackness, as well as the history of African migrations to the Arabian Peninsula. 

Approximate number of pages: 150 p.

Foreign rights: contact the author


Translation samples


Reasons to publish this book

Written in elaborate poetic prose, Maimouna combines a literal aesthetic and a historical narrative that reveals an untold story about African immigrants in Mecca and the Hijaz region in western Saudi Arabia. The story deals with race, and racism in the context of the Arabian Peninsula; topics that are central to contemporary culture.

Prizes and awards

  • Sharjah Award for Arab Creativity, 2001


Black Saudi author focuses on neglected history of African migration and slavery by Al-Fanar Media, July 2020

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