21 October, 2006

Pillars of Salt (Fadia Faqir)

We all know that novels and stories have time and place elements, which mean that events happen in a certain place and time, although sometimes the author prefers not to mention the name of known place or specific time.

Sometimes a certain place become famous after an artist or writer includes that place in his/her art whether it’s a painting or a novel, and we all have experienced this many times, in novels we read or paintings we saw, Nagib/Najib Mahvouze is a famous example, making famous many places in Cairo, Egypt.

I never felt the need to read something that takes place in Amman or Jordan, until I happened to read a novel titled Pillars of Salt by Fadia Faqir, actually I read that novel twice, and its one of few on my recommended readings list, it takes place in Amman and Fohais' (Mental hospital), a suburb of great Amman, you will find many mentions of many known places like Al-Mohajereen (refugees camp), Jabal Al-Qal3ah (the Castle Mountain), Saqf Al-Sail, and many other places.

What makes me write about this is that I was very happy when I was reading that novel, because I felt I read something of a place I belong to, a place where I was brought up in, a place I love to live in, let alone that the novel was telling the story of tortured women in our country/region which is dominated by men, and where this community is hypocrite in away or another, and always on the side of men, even when they are bad and offensive, where men can do what women can't, and justify that by the known saying "men can do whatever they do, nothing shames them".

I'm not talking here about women and men, as much I want to talk about the novel, the creativity of its Jordanian writer Fadia Faqir, and how she succeeded to tell the story of women, who played a big role in the struggle against the conquerors of our region, although they suffered much from her father, son, and husband, where sometimes they were crueler than the conqueror.

Thank you Fadia for this master piece which made me learn more about us, self, and how we think.

Please for those who think that I'm against men or women, this post isn't about that, and I'm not generalizing, there are always good men, and good women, and here I'm just telling the story of a story I once read.

I recommend reading this story for anyone who likes or needs to belong to this country (Jordan), and feel the history, even if its not always bright, knowing history contributes to a brighter future, and I also advise you to go and visit some places that is mentioned in the novels, I tried it many times, it gave me a feeling I never had before.

1 comment:

majeda said...

i'll try to read this novel... it seames very lovely one...