His articles were brief but with multiple wise wide brush blows on those paintings. Paintings, from which, you can smell old Baghdad. Articles that you can live Ayam El Khair (=The Good Days) again with. Ayam El Khair is a radio weekly episode that lasts 5 to 10 minutes in Al Iraq Al Hurr (=Free Iraq) radio channel. It is an Iraqi radio channel that belongs to the Iraqi communist party, and was banned before 2003. When I was preparing for my first year exam in 2005, his program did give me hope to continue in spite of the deteriorating situation back then in Baghdad. Hearing his harsh alto voice, talking quietly about the good days of Baghdad, were one of the causes why I stayed believing in Baghdad.
So what about this gynecologist?
He is an Iraqi Jew. And Ooops the novel is not silly anymore! The novel is about his life in the 40s and the 50s in Iraq and then Israel. He developed mental illness after aborting a pregnant under the threat of her brothers to do so. The novel is now attracting me more and more! Her brothers wanted him to kill her. He said he did. He showed them the dead baby. They asked him to bury the woman (their sister), whom they call a sinner. She was not married and she became pregnant after a love story.
The gynecologist, Abdul Salam, developed a mental illness. His wife took him to Al Kifl in Babylon where the prophet Thu Il Kifl (=Ezekiel) grave is. Babylon in the novel? I adore it.
They had visited the old Babylon by their way of return to Baghdad.
The doctor's condition improved a little to deteriorate before they enter Baghdad. At the borders of Baghdad they saw people making a rally and shouting "death to the Zionists, death to the Jews, and death to all Jews".
At Baghdad he was taken to Jacky Shabi Abboud, the first psychiatrist in Iraq, and then admitted to Al Shamaya Hospital (=al rashad hospital). Al Shamaya is there too? God I love this novel. Inpatients there thought that he was a spy working for the Zionist and would document their secrets to Israel. They start to through trash on him. His wife was advised to take him out. She took him out and went to the marches, to pass to Iran illegally, and then to Israel.
In Israel the story continues but I won't tell you how.
I didn't tell you about Hassoon and Samera, nor about Baghdad college and Romeo and Juliet. To leave you with a little hope that you read the novel.
The novel contains brilliant descriptions to Iraq in the 40s and 50s. Contents of a typical Baghdad house, peoples' costumes, peoples' favorable themes to talk about, Baghdadi proverbs, Songs, Al Rasheed street, Al Sadoon street, Al Sufafeer market, King Faisal's square, Ezekiel's grave, Ezra's grave, Babylon, and many other things.
I read the novel while I was going to my job. In the minibus. It never made me feel tired from reading. It is a very clever brilliant novel. Thank you Khaled Kishtainy.
You can find in this link an article about the novel:
and Kaled Al kishtainy blog title is