The novel, “The Broken Glass,” by engineer and journalist Ahmed bin Ibrahim Al-Muhandi, was launched yesterday evening in the context of the ongoing Qatari cultural movement. The novel has recently been published by Al-Watd, a Qatari publishing house. The book discussion session, which was held at the Giwana Hall of the Radisson Blu Hotel, was attended by Mr. Sadiq Al-Ammari, editor-in-Chief, and a group of writers, critics and interested members of the audience, and was hosted by media presenter Laila Ibrahim.
The first of Al-Muhandi’s novels, “The Broken Glass” is a narrative adventure written in the context of the quest for novelty and distinction, especially at the level of writing technique. In his speech on the occasion, the author expressed joy at the release of his first novel and thanked Qatar Society for the Rehabilitation of Special Needs People for its support, and Al-Watd House for embracing the work and distributing it.
The author said: “The events of the novel revolve around the suffering of a group of people from Gulf society, characters whose parents came from different countries, lived in the Gulf and had children and grandchildren who embraced the homelands where they grew up, but they were subjected to different types of bullying.” He added: “The novel’s themes are basic and include dream and patience, and just like any constructive novel, it should contain elements of suspense and adventure, should be written in a beautiful style, and should contain eloquent images,” stressing that the work is free of pathos, but the events and characters are affective.
The author said that he embarked on the novel in 2018, but he faced some difficulties with the overseas publisher, meanwhile stressing that he received all kinds of support from His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Thani, Minister of Culture.
Dr. Tariq Al-Esawy, advisor to the Qatar Society for the Rehabilitation of Special Needs People, said that writer Al-Muhandi is one of the “knights” of media education, which he presented to different members of society. He conveyed the commendations of His Excellency Sheikh Thani bin Abdullah Al Thani, Chairman of the Society’s Board of Directors, on this valuable work, hoping that special needs people would benefit from the novel and that it would be disseminated across all segments of society.
Mr. Ibrahim Al-Bohashem Al-Sayed, director and founder of Al-Watd Publishing House and vice-President of the Arab Publishers Association, expressed joy at the launch of the novel “The Broken Glass,” noting in a speech on the occasion that Al-Watd Publishing House has been privileged to distribute the work in Qatar, and that the novel adds to the series of publications by Al-Watd Publishing House, which has previously launched the novel “Smedra” by Dr. Abdul Rahman Al-Kuwari. He hoped that this thriving publishing activity would continue so as to contribute to the cultural movement through the Qatari Forum for Authors, as well as the Forum of Qatari Publishers and Distributors, which operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture.
Tunisian critic, Dr. Nizar Chakroun, said: “I congratulate writer Al-Muhandi for this long-awaited artistic product,” noting that “it is an acceptable literary work.” He added: “This novel is contentious, as it evokes a topic that may be taboo for some who may not even believe that it has actually been written, published and read in a Gulf country. The book is bold in its content, as it raises an existential issue related to a large social group in the Arab Gulf, and the author wants to make this group heard in literature.” He pointed out that the novel poses the problem of the broken mirror, hence the book’s title. Identity cannot be complete unless the consequences and limits of this affiliation are defined.
Writer and journalist Dr. Abdullah Faraj Al-Marzouki stressed in his speech that this novel has long been considered a red line in some countries, pointing out that writer Al-Muhandi has chosen heart-rending words, starting from the title itself that refers to identity and personality, and he hoped that the novel would be a trailblazer for future literary works.