The Text Worlds of Umayma Al-Khamis’s “Waiting for Hayla” and “Restoration”


  • Arwa Hasan


In light of the rapid development and changes that are becoming prevalent in the region, revisiting short stories written by the Saudi author Umayma Al-Khamis in the anthology Arab Women Writers (2005; trans. Cohen-Mor) provides a point of contrast and discussion of the societal role of the Arab woman in the post-modern world. The texts chosen for analysis are part of an anthology that aims to “introduce the English reader to the Arab Woman’s  ways  of  life”  (Cohen-Mor  2).  This  paper  utilises  Text  World  Theory  as  a cognitive poetic framework to analyse the two short stories, “Waiting for Hayla” and “Restoration.” Whereas the short stories in the collection were translated into English for  a  Western  audience,  the  world-building  triggered  by  the  text  depends  on  some knowledge and recognition of the cultural assumptions of the Saudi society. This analysis shows  that  the  texts  can  also  be  read  as  absurdist  due  to  the  shared  themes  of existentialism and futility of existence in them, which rely on the world-building elements more than the limited cultural knowledge provided by the text.


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How to Cite

Hasan, A. (2020). The Text Worlds of Umayma Al-Khamis’s “Waiting for Hayla” and “Restoration”. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 14(1), 10-22. Retrieved from



Section II: Articles on English Language and Literature in West Asia