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The Final Whistle
"We split a shisha and several plates of termis and try to focus on the match as the world collapses around us."
I am experimenting with a new segment on Sports Politika dedicated to flash and short fiction. I’ve always wanted to find a way to merge my creative writing with my journalistic interests without compromising either, and I believe this dedicated section on the site—which will be updated on a semi-regular basis—allows me to do just that.
As always, if you enjoy what you read, please leave a comment and let me know what you think. I value all your constructive feedback more than you know.
So now, here is “The Final Whistle,” a flash fiction piece that I wrote during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
The three of us gather at a local Cairo cafe to watch the World Cup, the first of its kind in the Arab world. We split a shisha and several plates of termis and try to focus on the match as the world collapses around us.
“Any news on the pound?” one of us asks, slipping one of the yellow lupin beans into his mouth.
“They say it will lose another 30 percent to the dollar in the next few days,” another says.
“God damn them,” we mumble in unison, polishing off the plate of termis to appease our grumbling stomaches.
The final whistle blows. A sea of red cheer and dance in the stands. Morocco is making history. The cafe celebrates and we hear a person next to us proclaim that football is finally smiling back at the Arabs.
“Great game,” one of us says.
“Yes, and a great tournament too. We should be proud.”
We agree, and, as the waiter passes, we signal him to bring us a celebratory plate of termis.
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