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Story of the Week: ‘Muammer’s Last Day,’ by Maruan Paschen; Translated by Amanda DeMarco

Hi friends,

We’re excited to share another new Story of the Week…


In this short story by Maruan Paschen (translated by Amanda DeMarco), the narrator, Maruan, is a new German teacher in Libya during the First Libyan Civil War, and he details the days leading up to the killing of Muammar al-Gaddafi through fragmented vignettes of narrative that kaleidoscope in and out of space and scene. 

Published in The Offing in March 2015. It was originally published in Edit Magazine, Leipzig, Vol. 65, 2014. (3,019 words)

Why We Love It:

The story, originally published in German, is told through fractured scenes and images that read surreal because of Paschen’s poetic descriptions and the unreliability of our narrator. Maruan is contradictory, and, though there is an emphasis on reality and honesty throughout the piece, the story parallels the disorientation of the active civil war.


“It’s a good sign, we’ve learned; if you hear the explosion then you’ve survived it. The hissing of the Tomahawk rockets, though, is like the shrapnel shell’s message of nails on marrow. One flies by the window. The pilot, a digital control unit, looks at us, blows us a kiss, and continues on his way, a way which only he knows through this very dark night.”

Further Reading:

Story selected by Marina Leigh


Marina Leigh is a queer, biracial writer and photographer born and raised in Reno, Nevada, and she is currently earning her MFA in poetry as the Grisham Fellow at the University of Mississippi.

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