From Abidah El Khalieqy’s Mataraisa

Works in Translation


Abidah El Khalieqy, translated by Joan Suyenaga
Published as a part of Reformations: Indonesian Literature in Translation, Nov 06, 2015

First published in Mataraisa


The following is a translation from El Khalieqy’s 2012 novel, Mataraisa, or Eye of Raisa, translated by Joan Suyenaga which revolves around a young Muslim writer named Raisa Fairuza who longs to be taken seriously. Raisa has become well known enough to be invited to launch her book at an Islamic school, where she is attacked by the kyai, Kopiah Miring, for writing secular, liberal, even communist words. The story below describes the encounter.

Raisa Fairuza, a gracious woman, a tireless traveller, walked without hesitating through crowds of blasphemers. She looked straight ahead, never once glancing to the left or right, because she felt that the ideal life was ummatan-wasathan, the middle path of the just.

Read the full story here.