It was a bright cold day in April, and the cry of the Muezzin could be heard in the distance, like the roar of a far-off sea. Winston ibn Smith, his chin nuzzled into his keffiyah in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Shahid House, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
The hallway smelt of roasting goat and motor oil. At the end of it a colored poster, too large for indoor display, had been tacked to the wall. It depicted an enormous face, a curled black beard, above it two eyes like suspicious chips of coal beneath a towering turban. Winston headed for the stairs. The regular Ramadan power outages made the lift into an unlikely prospect. With no one to repair them, few lifts worked anymore. Around Ramadan, all of London slowed to a grind of surly tempers, broken machines and recurring blackouts. His flat was six flights up, and Winston had to stop and pause for breath several times along the way. On each landing, opposite the lift-shaft, the poster with the enormous face gazed from the wall. It was one of those pictures which are so contrived that the eyes follow you about when you move. THE EYES OF THE GUARDIANS OF SHARIA ARE UPON YOU, the caption beneath it read.
Read the brilliant adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 by Sultan Knish
Update: Nederlandse vertaling van Herman Benschop op Noodzakelijk kwaad