Monday evening, the Qatari Authors’ Forum held a new session of ““Read Me, for I am this book” sessions, which is part of a project to promote criticism. These sessions were begun to be streamed on Microsoft Teams program at the beginning of Ramadan. This initiative seeks to promote a culture of criticism among writers, literati as well as interested parties. The initiative, supervised and managed by Dr. Abdel Haq Belabed, Professor of Literature Issues & Criticism and Comparative Studies Curricula  at Qatar University, hosted academician and researcher Dr. Ahmed Al-Jawa, Sfax University – Tunisia who is interested in modern Arab literature.
In his research, Dr. Al-Jawa began with genre classification of novelettes, which is a brief form such as anecdotes, news, Maqama (novel in rhymed prose), parables as well as other forms in our literature and that of others. He further presented elements that determine each form.
Furthermore, he gave a critical appreciation and analyses of the “Newspaper Seller” stories collection by writer Noura Al-Saad. He presented it briefly. Then, he tackled the language of storytelling in it. He differentiated between speech levels from eloquent to common as he proved that storytelling opens to people’s day life.
On one hand, the Tunisian academician focused on human models that relegate novelettes to a world that appears realistic through nomenclature, spaces and attributes. He further highlighted that the world of marginalized people occupies a wide space in novelettes. He also pointed out that genre development is noticeably outstanding in Nora Muhammad Faraj’s novelettes (Marajem), on the level of time, place, characters or narrative language.
On the other hand, he pointed to the shift from real preoccupation to something similar to the psychological analysis of a number of characters. This tends to depict tension experienced by the character and to suggest the feelings of anxiety and psychological dispersion inside the character. Both collections present images of material and psychological life. Thus, they succeed in accomplishing varied narrative writing.
Dr. Al-Jawa divided his research into two main topics. The first is about real-life storytelling in the collection and representing key elements (Language of storytelling – speech levels, from eloquent to common – real human models). The second topic is about psychological storytelling and the method of drawing the fictional character (feelings of anxiety – tension – Oppression …. social prejudice … attitude towards others).
For his part, Dr. Belabed stressed that the initiative aims to enhance the culture of reading during the period of home quarantine. “We shall not be satisfied with reading literary texts,” he said, “but we shall know how to change our habits in reading and criticizing them.” To this end, a series of sessions will be held in the coming period. Specialized critics from the Arab world and outside it, including Ukraine, Italy, Paris, Sweden, India, Turkey and Iran will participate. This is to analyse literary and narrative texts from Qatar, in particular, and from the Arab World in general, to determine how Arab critic receives and analyses creative texts produced by Qatari writers.
These critical sessions also enable the reader to develop a strategic plan for picking and reading books, based on clear critical mechanisms that enable him/her to differentiate between texts and define their artistic and narrative aesthetics.