Saturday, November 15, 2008

Tobacco Keeper

I didn't make it deliberately. I just bought another novel. Ali Badr is one of those writers whom the Iraqis treat with respect. Everybody knows that Ali Badr is the writer of that novel, "Baba Sartre". Even those who didn't read the novel, like me, would tell you that while tilting the head little down, opening the eyes wide, hanging the eyebrows up and making the sound more deep and slow and say it: "he is the writer of BABA SARTRE!!!". Which should means that he is a great writer and you should have known that. So I found a new novel of his entitled "Tobacco Keeper" and published this year, 2008. So I didn't buy it deliberately because it is about an Iraqi Jew!!!

Why Iraqi Jews are attracting our fantasies this much?

The novel was a magnet to my eyes. Since the first lines and I couldn't leave it. Look, it is about an Iraqi male violin player, married and having one son, Maier. After the 1948 he and his family were forced to leave Iraq because they are Jewish. He loves Iraq and wanted to go back. He left Israel and came to Iran where he changed his name and card of identity and married from an Iranian Muslim Shiite woman. They entered Iraq to have a son, Hussein, there. But they were forced to leave Iraq after some years because they are of "Iranian origins". He went to Syria, to have a new name and new card of identity and married to a Muslim Sunni woman and came back to Iraq to have his third son, Omar.
After 2003, his son Maier came with the US troops (Maier left Israel to the US and had the nationality there). His second son Hussein came from Iran having in his mind the ideologies of Shiite Islam and how should Iraq be ruled. His third son Omar represents the Sunni part of the equation.
When they came all together like that I laughed and thought I should tell you about them.


Laura said...

I'd love to hear more about this brotherhood!

saminkie said...

Hi Laura, unfortunately the novel ends by the meeting of the three brothers. The main theme of the novel was the life of the violinist, their father, and the eras he lived in. That is Iraq between the 50s and 2003. The story starts in 2005 when a reporter visited Iraq to write a report about the killing of the violin player. He visited the Green Zone. He describe that very well. I never did visited the green zone and reading about it was amazing. Then he started finding the clues about his life. It is a long nice novel.

Laura said...

WOW. Sounds like a book that lives on in the reader, as one turns over and over what might be happening next, in pages beyond the covers. Stories like that tend to haunt me. What a writer!

saminkie said...

Yes he is amazing Laura. I remember I talked to most people about the novel when I was reading it and it caught the attention of all of them. The title is strange isn't it? It came from a title of a book the reporter did find in the violin player house. It contained some notes the violin player had written. And it is about three personalities. When I read something and be affected by it so much I always think that when I will get older and my memory gets tired I will think it happened in reality. I think I will believe I did know this story in real life. Or maybe one of the violin player's sons, if not hisself.

tracy said...

Hello Sami...i still want to say "Dr. Sami"...!

Thank you for your kind comments to me on your last blog...i will let you know when i get the book.

We shall have tea together today, yes, at our table around the world, with our friends, i will think of you and all the others while at work.

Best always, my friend,

s said...

Oh no, now I have to go read this. Is there even an English translation? I can't find one.

Anonymous said...

Hello Sami How are you friend?? Miss you so much... Munqithe

saminkie said...

Dear Tracy, drinking tea with you brought peace to my mind my friend. how can you do that?
You are magical.

Dear S, i don't know about the English translation too. I want to ask you why that "NO" in your comment.

Dear Munqithe i miss you too.

Don Cox said...

"Why Iraqi Jews are attracting our fantasies this much?" _______ Perhaps because they are something of great value which Iraq has lost (or thrown away). ___________ This sounds like a very good novel. Let's hope it gets translated. There is not nearly enough translation between Arabic and English going on, and while many Arabs can read English, hardly any English-speakers can read Arabic.

saminkie said...

Yes it seems that this is one of the causes Don Cox.