The Qatari narration sparked a wide discussion in the sessions of the “Read Me, Says the Book” initiative, held by the Qatari Forum for Authors through its YouTube channel, as part of its project of the inclusion of criticism that attracts prominent critics from the Arab world and beyond to study the new narratives in stories and novels, and literature issues in general. The project also aims to spread a culture of criticism among writers and authors.
In this vein, the forum hosted the critic Dr. Ali Nisr, who gave a lecture entitled “Qatari life in narration: between authenticity and modernism”. The lecture was moderated by Dr. AbdelHak Belabed, Criticism Professor at Qatar University.
Dr. Nisr presented his critical view with regard to the novel (Old Dreams of the Sea) by the author (Shuaa Khalifa). He thought the novel has created a theater which stage has featured aspects of that conflict. “Once the title is received, the reader feels it, and a prospect of waiting for his expectations materializes in front of him, where the dream and the ancient are two terms of the conflict”. He further emphasized that this is almost what two generations had lived, the dream occupied a wide space of their cognitive field.
The writer, he continued, has portrayed the former generation, which movement had covered the first one hundred pages of the text, and it constituted its principal first generation whose movement covered the first hundred pages of the text, and constituted the backbone of the text. The father (Hamad) and his wife (Lulwa), and some of the other side characters existent with the two main characters, contributed to fueling this conflict which was confined to a conflict between wealthiness and poverty, Where (Lulwa) aspired mostly to having delicious food and beautiful housing, while Hamad was clinging to his past and customs, through the fishing gear he saved that is considered a moral wealth, or even life standards. He pointed out that the second stage, or the second generation, represented by the two daughters (Sheikha) and (Noura) the two main characters for this generation, formed an extension of the previous characters in portraying that conflict with fundamental adjustments imposed by the current situation as substantial changes and transformations had occurred as a result of the oil boom that flipped and improved the situation, imposing standards and values consistent with the nature of those changes. Sheikha did not depart from of what her mother aspired to, while Noura, on the other hand, represented the group that reconciled the past with its authenticity by clinging to her father’s wealth and equipment that are suitable for display in an archeology museum, with the oil present and the opening of life economically and socially.