Saturday, August 13, 2016

Against prejudices

Some novels are extraordinarily good without a great story, suspense or plot twists. They're good because they're honest, authentic, open your horizon to a different culture or another way to see life and they make you think about the world we live in.They may even help you to understand what's going on.

This week I had the pleasure to find such a gem.

The news focus is on Syria, islamistic terror and refugees. We hear or read the shocking numbers, we see the devastating images and the world is discussing where to put all these people, who will let in how many, how to keep them from coming to the EU, how to make them stay in Turkey.

What we don't see and our politicians seem to forget is that we are not talking about numbers but about fellow human beings, individuals with individual tragedies and traumata.

There is no easy solution. History, religion, foreign interference....have created an atmosphere of prejudices and hatred. Some respond with religiuos fanatism and others loose faith.

One of those who seeing the world as it is can't believe there's a loving God is the author of this book. At least he admits that he could be wrong. Hopelessness is the ruling feeling in his narration. There is no hope without God.

My Review:

This book is a powerful appeal against prejudices, stereotypes and war. I don't know how much of this narration is autobiographic but I'm sure personal experience, pain and grief found their way into this novel.
Adam's sophisticated philosophical view on politics, religion, psychology and society is far from all clichés. I don't agree with all his views but they become comprehensible.
He gives us insight into what it might mean for an individual to live in exile while their homeland is falling apart.
The Middle Eastern conflict isn't easy to comprehend and with this book I noticed how much more complex it is than I thought. We got used to the images of bombed cities and refugees in small boats trying to find somewhere to live in peace. But while all this arouses compassion and the cry to end the cruelty, the masses seem faceless and islamophobia is thriving. Adam's story is able to remind you that "the Syrians" or "the Arabs" don't exist. Everybody is an individual with his own history and strugles and in case of the Syrians often traumatizing experiences.
The novel is told in small episodes, disussions and memories that mirror Adam's fractured state of mind.