The Qatari Authors’ Forum hosted novelist Muhammad bin Muhammad Al-Jufairi to discuss his novel 1972 “A Coincidence is Better Than a thousand Dates” published by Katara Publishing House in a session conducted by the writer Saleh Gharib.
Al-Jufairi said that this work started as a small idea and then turned into frameworks. After that, the vision became clear, and that it targets the youth, which is a marginalized group because most of the books currently available are either academic or political. These are heavy books with which teenagers cannot interact. Therefore, he decided to provide the Qatari and Arab Bookstore with a book that delves into the details of teenage life.
He added that the title came to express the events of the novel, as the encounter between the two protagonists, Ahmed and Noura, took place repeatedly. This made him wonder, through his work, whether coincidence is inevitable, or whether it is the birth of the moment. He pointed out that places and dates have a big symbolism in the novel, as the Corniche of Doha with its beautiful sea was a catalyst for the memories of teenagers and young people. Events of the story take place in the past, specifically in 1972, which is a year full of major events worldwide, and was a beautiful era.
He described the novel as an emotional story punctuated by political and military events that swept the Arab world during the 1970s. The story revolves around Ahmed, who traveled to Lebanon during the summer holiday after graduating from high school with a group of friends. Then the two events happened again and again over the years.
The author described the 1970s cultural patterns of dress, poetry, and the shape of homes, places, and personalities.
The writer, who has a large collection of documentary books, invited young people to read the novel to learn about the specificity of that historical period and to enjoy the interesting events.
Al-Jufairi spoke about his work, which falls into the category of documentation and history, as he is fond of collecting and documenting historical images. In his work, he tells the story of his memory, his childhood, the places he visited and the people he associated with. In this way, his novel is completely different from his previous one in which he took the role of the narrator.