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    Khuzestan in San Diego
    Meeting a former "enemy" thousands of miles away from home

    January 6,1999
    The Iranian

    You pack your bags and leave Khuzestan. You've been through years of war with Iraq; the battles, the bombs, the destruction, the refugees, the revolution.

    You settle, thousands of miles away, in San Diego, in southern California. One day you meet an Iraqi. How would you react?

    This is the setting in Ali Hosseini's Sayeh va Shen (Shadow and Sand), one of the short stories in Ja be Ja (Dislocation; 1998 Passin Publications, Cambridge, MA. To order, email Ali.Hosseini@fmr.com). Both characters remember the war years and display emotions arising from separation from the land of their birth and ending up in the United States.

    Hosseini's sentences -- unlike so many works of Iranian writers these days -- flow beautifully. This creates a certain intimacy with the reader, who is already absorbed by Hosseini's powerful stories.

    Some of the stories in this collection are re-writeen versions of those published in "Barrasi-ye Ketab," "Pouyeshgaran," and "Daftra-haaye Shanbeh" magazines. The following is an excerpt from Sayeh va Shen (in Persian):

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