An Omani tale from the fifties forgotten by history in “Al-Bairaq”

Aman – In her latest novel “Al-Bairaq” (now Publishers and Distributors, Amman), Omani writer Sharifa Al-Toobi tells the story of “Haret Al-Wadi” that took place in the 1950s. And because this story not mentioned in the history books, the novelist knit her threads in her imagination and introduced to her heroes a narrative vision that illuminated the dark areas of the story, mixing reality with the artistic imagination that achieves the reader’s satisfaction.

The novel, published by Al-Aan Publishers and Distributors in Oman, was chosen for its cover and a photograph of the work of Omani artist Bodour Al-Riyami, who also designed the cover, was selected. The author addressed her gift: “Ali bin Hamad … at a time when courage was a man called the son of a newspaper.”

The novel, the cover of which is adorned with a photograph of the work of the Omani artist, the role of Al-Riyam, deals with the description of characters from all sides. An integrated literature that embodies the life of Oman with its general features , in which the characters have the freedom to express themselves and their visions.

The novel describes the features of the hero “Nasser” in a mix between public and private and we read in it an example: “Nasser grew up in fear of standing between his people and other tribes. Because he has a decisive opinion, does not compliment for the truth, does not debate trivial matters, is generous, does not answer the beggar, and does not close the door on the poor or needy.His courage and wisdom gained reputation in the tribes, and the Al-Wadi neighborhood gained wide fame among the neighborhoods and other cities, until it became an example.

Elsewhere in her 432-page, mediocre novel, Al-Tobi draws the features of the old woman “Sabiha”, one of the well-known characters who comes from the depths of Omani society, saying: “People and from the neighborhood they say that she is a woman who covers herself and sees what they do not see, because she is memorable. days in which Salihu was born, his infant son died, so she would go home and breastfeed any child she found crying, or hungry, especially children. this free of charge and free of charge, until most of the neighborhood youth became her children by breastfeeding.

The writer goes on to draw the scene, saying: “All the children died at a young age, while her husband died after being bitten by a venomous snake while walking in the desert. After her husband’s death, her brother came and wanted to take her. to live with her, but she refused and insisted that she stay in her house, saying: “She is in her family.” and her neighbors, and she will live and die in this neighborhood she loved, her people loved her, and she guarded her paths. ”

The novel gave a description of the nature of popular life and the details of social relations between people, so we read in one of the passages: “Neighborhood men like to go to the market, not only to shop, but to sit. exchange conversations on a long bench built near the wall separating the Marhoon suburb from the market Hamdani expected that he would not find fresh fish, but would ask and what would harm them if he did, because Khadija loves fish, so “Every time he passed by one of the shops, they laughed at his request, which came at the wrong time.”

In another clip, the writer describes one of Oman’s dishes, saying: “Khadijah cooked fish juice that day, added lemon and some pepper and cooked with it the bread mixed with bread (Bu Qedma) that Saleh bought when he. returned the first time after they were transferred to their new home in the suburbs.When the children returned from school, the smell of fish juice filled the place, a fist approached the cooking stove and the fire was sitting under the pot, and it was trembled and ran to her mother to ask for lunch.

Ibrahim bin Ahmed Al-Silti wrote about the novel, saying: “The novelist Sharifa Al-Tubi will be to me like the Chilean Isabel Allende, owner of the ‘Ship of Neruda’, the House of Souls, the Daughter of Fate.” Paola “and many other immortal novels. Sharifa al-Tubi after the wonderful” Prisoner of the Blue “” Here she introduces us to one of her masterpieces that will gain as much fame and favors as her predecessors had “.

It is worth mentioning that this novel is the second edition of Sharifa Al-Tobi in the field of the novel after “The Prisoner of Zarqa”, which was published by “Now Publishers and Distributors” also in two editions during 2021 and 2021, and won Cultural Creativity Award for Best Publications for 2021 AD (12th session), held by the Oman Writers Association. In it, Al-Toubi addressed the issue of persons of unknown origin and the attitude of society towards them and monitored various aspects of this social problem, the consequences of which are borne by people who are not guilty.

In addition to these two novels, Sharifa Al-Toobi published six books with articles, stories, texts and letters: “The place is free”, “In my heart is a tree”, “Confession”, “Reflection”, “Suad. Letters they did not receive, and “Black Eye.

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