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This article addresses the misleading nature of the rewrite of the October 1973 Arab–Israeli war as portrayed in Moroccan Mubārak Rabī´’s 1976 novel Rifqat al-Silāḥ … wa-l-Qamar (Comrades in Arms … and the Moon). Papers partially burned by a retreating Moroccan officer lure the ‘enemy’ into attacking a fortified position, thus leading to an Arab victory. The fantastical nature of the war narrative informs a different reading of the novel, focused on Rabī´’s critique of and scepticism toward the possibility of unity among Arabs that such a victory would require. Rabī´’s critique centres on the distinction between jundī, regular soldier, and fidā’ī, freedom fighter; he explores Arab culture's relation to the two archetypes and redraws the fidā’ī in order to provide a broader and more progressive understanding of the goals and behaviour of those who desire radical change.


Author's accepted manuscript version of an article published in:

Campbell, Ian. "These Papers are Intended to Mislead: Soldiers and Freedom Fighters in Mubarak Rabin's Comrades in Arms ... and the Moon" Middle Eastern Literatures, vol. 18, no. 2, 2015, pp. 144-152.

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