Dr Ahmed Abdul-Malik launched yesterday his novel Dukhan… Memoirs of a Former Diplomat, in the presence of a group of academics in the pavilion of the Qatari Forum for Authors at Doha International Book Fair, which will conclude today.
Dr Abdul-Malik explained that the novel is like an intermediary narrative work, as it relied on the memoirs of the diplomat Abdul Rahman Al-Wajdi, which he wrote in English and published in London before his death, along with accounts of his son, as well as a research trip made to Dukhan, the place the writer explored through a specialized guide. He stressed, in this regard, that he went there to become acquainted with the nature of the place and the environment; so, he was recording the details that would serve as material for the novel, underscoring the necessity of using narrative elements in novels, as the current trend in the publishing market is geared towards the novel. However, many of these novels lack the narrative controls and characteristics. The novelist should provide an idea and information, and he should have a clear goal that he must strive to reach. Dr Abdul-Malik called on young people to show interest in developing fiction writing techniques, adding: “As a novel, Dukhan records the diplomat’s life journey starting from the city of Dukhan, this small city in northwestern Qatar, where the protagonist grew up at a time when the first oil well in Qatar was drilled. The city of Dukhan and the old airport appear in their previous state in this novel, which is about love for the land and people, a failed marriage followed by a successful one outside the homeland. The novel tracks the life of a successful diplomat who built his life in exile and tried to change social stereotypes. It also exposes his life in Great Britain as a student and then as a successful diplomat, pointing out that the book’s cover, prepared by the artist Youssef Ahmed, reveals two houses, one in Dukhan and the other in an upscale London neighborhood, thus translating the story of the journey of the diplomat, whose picture is situated in the middle of the two houses.