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Salim

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My grandmother swore that she had seen an ifrit, or perhaps a marid, late one evening, on the edge of the desert. We told her that it was just a sandstorm, a little wind, but she said no, she saw its face, and its eyes, like yours, were burning flames.

–Salim to the Jinn, Chapter Seven

Salim is a young Muslim man from Oman who moved to New York City a week prior.

Head Full of Snow Edit

Somewhere in America

Salim is a young Muslim man selling trinkets and souvenirs for his brother-in-law. He sits all day long at a company called Panglobal, waiting to meet with Mr. Blanding who never shows. He asks if he can make an appointment for tomorrow and the assistant tells him he has to phone for appointments. He walks out into the night rain and hails a cab, giving directions to his hotel. The taxi driver speaks Arabic and they discuss Oman, where Salim is from, chatting about the Lost City of Towers, which vanished thousands of years prior. The taxi driver apologizes as he has been driving for 30 hours straight and Salim tells him about how he just arrived in America a week ago and is selling worthless trinkets to people who won't see him.

They get stuck in traffic and the taxi driver falls asleep. Salim reaches over the seat and gently rests his hand on his shoulder to wake him. The taxi driver awakens and Salim catches a glimpse of fiery eyes in the rear-view mirror. Salim recognizes him as an ifrit, a person of the fire that his grandmother once told him about. The Jinn tells him that he does not grant wishes and his life has been reduced to this terrible job as a taxi driver. Salim reaches over to once again touch his shoulder in comfort. The Jinn caresses his hand in return.

They arrive at Salim's hotel and Salim invites the Jinn up to his room. Salim undresses as the Jinn comes out of the shower, his eyes aflame. Salim tells him that he does grant wishes and they make love. When Salim awakens the next morning, the Jinn is gone and all that remains behind are the Jinn's belongings. Salim dresses in the Jinn's clothes and heads to the taxi, getting into the driver's seat. He looks in the rear-view mirror and says, "I do not grant wishes."

Somewhere in America Edit

Salim is a young Muslim man from Oman who moved to New York City a week ago. He visits offices with a briefcase of trinkets, trying to secure a sale, but seldom sees any success. His brother-in-law, Fuad, secured him his job and a place to stay at the Paramount Hotel. Unfortunately, the sales aren't going well, his money is running out, and Fuad is very unhappy with Salim.

On this day, Salim goes to the office of Panglobal Imports. He arrives a half an hour early and spends all day at the office across from a sick secretary, but Mr. Blanding never has time to see him. At the end of the day, he decides to take a taxi back to the hotel. The taxi driver is a poor, exhausted middle eastern man. When he learns that Salim is from Oman, he says he's been there before, at the city of Ubar (The Lost City of Towers). Each night, three or four thousand travelers would stop at the city, drinking wine and celebrating, but the city perished two or three thousand years ago.

The taxi driver falls asleep at the wheel, and Salim reaches over to wake him and accidentally knocks off his sunglasses. That's when he sees his eyes: they burn like fire. The man is an ifrit, or a jinn: someone who was born of fire, as opposed to of mud, like men. He says that people don't know who he is here, that they think he can grant wishes, but if he could grant wishes, he wouldn't be a taxi driver. Before getting out, Salim tells the ifrit his room number.

That night, the ifrit comes to his room, and they have sex and sleep cuddling all night. In the morning, Salim finds that all his belongings are gone, and only the ifrit's taxi keys and ID remain. He thus begins his new life as a taxi driver.

Physical Appearance Edit

Significance in Mythology Edit

The Jinn is an ifrit, a supernatural creature in Middle Eastern mythology.

The Lost City of Ubar, also known as The Lost City of Towers.

Notes and Trivia Edit

  • An ifrit is a person of the fire.
    • According to Arab mythology, there are angels, there are humans (whom Allah made from mud), and then there are jinn, the people of fire.

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