Ivan opinion, many valuable thoughts about the Middle

Ivan Mitric

Dr. Anderson


January 23, 2017

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the book ” The Hakawati” by Rabih Alameddine, the author writes about a man
that must visit his father after he receives the news that he is ill. The book
is based through storytelling, as the topics transition from Beirut in its
modern setting, to what occurred in Lebanon during World War I. As the book
states, “A hakawati is a teller of tales, myths, and fables” The author focuses
on retelling stories to capture the reader’s attention by making sure to
confront them with many different topics that are explained in a humorous and
amusing way. Moreover, the book starts off by saying, “Listen. Allow me to be
your God. Let me take you on a journey beyond imagining. Let me tell you a
story” The word “listen” makes it seem as if the story is being told in person
and thus helps connect and reach out to the reader. Secondly, I believe that Alameddine
uses so many characters in this fiction story because it allows imagination to
flow through our minds, and the goal is to have us relate these
characters/stories to our own lives and use to use it a guideline. Furthermore,
in today’s world, modernity is constantly being expanded through politics,
technology, social change, and economics, but the hakawati sticks to its original
traditional ways, which still finds ways to grab people’s attention in the most
effective way. In my opinion, many valuable thoughts about the Middle East can
be learned through the stories told. For example, the author tells the story of
Jawad and Khayal, and how Khayal must seduce him. To me, this story expresses
how homosexuality is not fully accepted all around the world even in our modern
day yet, but it is slowly starting to be acknowledged and conveyed. The author
goes on to express several other concerns relating to the Middle East as he goes
from story to story going back and forth from the emir’s life to Osama’s. Overall,
as Alameddine changes from the ancient world to the modern in the storytelling,
I believe the main reason this is done is because he wants to prove that
nothing has really changed even after all these years.