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Volume :7 Issue : 27 1981      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

THE FIRST PUBLISHED NARRATIVE IN THE ARABIAN GULF

Auther : Dr. S. Al-Shatty

 

           The first ever written and printed narrative in the Arabian Gulf was Khalid Al-Faraj’s unforgettable work entitled “Muneirah” which was serially published in 1928 in Kuwait’s first literary journal.  Khalid Al-Faraj – who died in 1954 – was the product of his era: for not only has he combined both fantasy and reality, but he also utilized skillfully the bottomless heritage of Arab literature.  He was convinced from the very beginning with the fact that the cultural message of a writer should extend beyond confined territories, to the greater cultural area embracing the whole of the Arab World.  He wandered about and visited a number of neighbouring countries such as India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Syria.

           Al-Faraj’s narrative “Muneirah” is named after its heroine: a girl of tantalizing beauty, native at heart and filled with superstitions.  She was credulous, illiterate, lazy, fond of decorative make-up and with no deposition of her own.  The skill by which the writer described the inner and outer components of his heroine’s personality testifies to his remarkable ability of characterization.  Before she even knew, Muneirah found herself married to her cousin but failing to bear him an heir, she resorted to witchcraft and sorcery.  Her husband on one hand ascribed this to her sterility whilst she attributed it, on the other hand, to his impious disbelief and atheism.  The clash of the two personalities ended tragically in Muneirah’s self destruction.

          The analysis and scrutiny of the structure of this narrative shows the writer’s ability to portray in a searching manner the inner feelings and emotions of his characters.  It also reveals the environmental, traditional and social factors, which contributed to the heroine’s suicidal demise.  “Muneira”, therefore, is the story of a young Arab woman in the Gulf, who was trapped in her own prejudices and became captive to belief in superstitions and sorcery.  Khalid Al-Faraj by bringing this character to life and skillfully tracing her story rightfully deserves the title of “the pioneer story-writer of the Gulf”.

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