Sara Mohamed Shehata


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It is a novel by well-known Iraqi writer, “Mahmoud Saeed,” was issued in 2007 (second time). by Dar Al-Hilal, (Egypt) before reading this book we must know that the author took more than fifteen years in order to make his dream true (publication of his novel), he spent many years of his age moving between the Arab countries in order to see light,  he spoke in his novel about the rule of the Baath Party of Iraq and Saddam’s regime, but he does not mention his name clearly, but the qualities of the quality of the “tyrant” or “Narcissist”

He is not ot the quality of the writers who curse the oppressors of their rulers after their departure, as in several books published after the occupation of Iraq and the killing of “Saddam”; as “Mahmoud Saeed,” wrote the novel in 1981 at the height of the “Saddam” and after his release from prison immediately. He went outside the country, he got a rare courage, and he was brave enough to leaf the country for publishing his novel. If he captured leafing with writing like this the punishment was more chilling than stated in the chapters of the novel by the horror of what a witness behind bars! ..

The novel began to depict the life of the protagonist minor hero who is a teacher in Basra, Iraq, a father of two children and a good husband, he used to give no harm to anybody, and never talk politics, with hay quality of characters. He didn’t opposite the regime, but what is happening in his country from oppression to other people made him so Discontent.

 One day one of the Baathists came to join him, tactfully he refused, saying to his wife that they can spoil his life, but they can not spoil his spirit, he appointed to his chest.

some informants came to him during his work and took him security office, and started beating him. So the chapters of tragedy opend, torture and horror, which does not tolerate any human being.

 Tells the atrocities that were occurring in police investigations and violations; where the investigator  play the role of the executioner, while the accused has no role in this black play,

First of all he thought that they detained him it is kind of mistake because they investigator told him “Mustafa Ali othman” and his name is “Mustafa Ali Numan,” so his hope to realise him increase, but he was distressed when explained to them and they said: ” It does not matter!

 He saw all the reasons for the shocking arrest of citizens who mostly like they have nothing to do politics, that is a strange thing to him, like the people who in prison because his car number plate fall, or the people who works like a goldsmith profusion.

If one escaped to outside from this hell and he didn’t return after a specified period of time they security hold his parents as hostage until he come back submissive to his country! No body can critic the situation in the country, because the secret police every where and they detective in every inch, may be the closest person to you one of them.

   One of the men was arrested after his small daughter said in the bus that she heard her father criticizing the regime.

After long months of events in which the protagonist saw worst forms of suffering, worse treatment and fabricating charges.

They fabricate his pictures to show him with opponents to tortured him, and keep him behind bars, in very bad prisons. He lived with voices of detainees who tortures there.

The protagonist heard many detainees spoke how the tyrant spent millions of dollar to make the people like him, and worship him. Giving hi wages to write the story of his life and represented his personal life the film, and established festivals of poems and singing to celebrate by his behalf.

He continued to describe what is happening to him behind bars for a whole year, he did not know what his guilty plea, he believes thousands of innocent Iraqis behind bars, saying: “No one could stay alive after so tortures and he was one of them. One day they torture somebody heavily and he died three days later “..

But he finally released, and went home in Basra after more thank one year,  he began to wrote his novel in the same year and took her out of the country to Jordan to publish it, he concealed it between the folds of his clothes so as not to see border guards during the inspection, Saying: “Iraqi’s most feared of being caught and with him something  written against the political status, they’ll take his skin to leather factory to manufacture it.

 But his attempt to publish his manuscript failed in Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, he told some of the scandals, one professor used to translated stories for and global famous names and sell them to the university professors who are paying the price for the role of publishing the translation! He sold famous translated novel to restaurant owner who begin his corrie like vendor of falafel.

       his publication was suspended, he tried to go to Algeria to work, Algerian authorities refused him from entry into Algeria, not him alone but with the other Arabs and French child who have been treated cruelly, even panic, and they deported them by force, and they didn’t spottiness to the child whose his parents waited him in Algeria.

 Able, “Mahmoud Saeed,” finally published his story for the first time in 1995, the first novel describes the horror of Baathist rule in time, and than was like a voluntary suicide of a writer at that time.  He concluded, was “pleased” with his story and wondered: “When will be the Arab be real countries?

like others?  But now the situation after the American occupation Iraq has grown worse, the torture machine was moved from Saddam hands to hands of Americans,  bitterness will increase in your chest when you read the novel, and you’ll ask your self again: When will we be real countries?


About mahmoudsaeediraq

I am an Iraqi writer. I came to the USA in 1999, and I got politic asylum. Since that time I am living in Chicago, Illinois. I have written more than 20 novels and short story collections and hundreds of articles. Some of my novels were destroyed by Iraqi regimes. I have won awards in Iraq, Egypt and the United States. I also have won awards for short stories, one in Iraq and the second in UAE. I worked in Iraq as a high school teacher teaching Arabic literature. I was imprisoned six times between 1959 and 1980. I was dismissed from my job for three years, so I went to Morocco and I worked there as a high school teacher. I wrote about last time in prison as novel titled, "I am the one who saw." This novel was translated to English by Dr. Sadri (a professor of Lake Frost University) and published in Al Saqi house publishing company in London by the name of "Saddam City." The New York Public Libraries listed my novel as one of the best novels of the last century. Amnesty international chose 37 writers from all over the world, including me, to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We wrote short stories, and the collection was published in London, USA, Canada, Spain, and Turkey. It was translated in more than 20 languages. MAHMOUD SAEED, Chicago, Illinois
This entry was posted in مقالات نقدية بالإنكليزية عن أعمال محمود سعيد - Reviews in English About Mahmoud's Works. Bookmark the permalink.

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