March 27, 2024

A Man Chased by Crows: A Saga of a Najdi Family Over a Century


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“A Man Chased by Crows” stands as one of the prominent tools utilized by writers to explore the history and culture of a particular society. It acts as a mirror reflecting reality across all social and political levels. With its unique ability, the novel transports us through time and space, simulating life with its intricate and diverse details while providing a profound insight into significant historical events and pivotal moments in human history.

Through the portrayal of characters and events, the novel seamlessly blends with reality to create a colorful canvas reflecting all aspects of society and its intricacies. Across ages, the novel has borne witness to social, cultural, and political transformations, embodying the image of history and life in all its nuances.

Herein begins my review of the novel (A Man Pursued by Crows) published by Elain Publishing House in the year 2023 (184 pages) by the Saudi author Yousef Al-Mohaimeed. The novel delves into the exploration of time spanning between the present, past, and future. It examines the wars endured by a Najdi family over more than a century, particularly highlighting the catastrophe of 1948, which resonates in memory despite decades having passed since its occurrence, starting its narrative from the year 2048 and extending until the end of the novel.

A Dark Futuristic World

“A Man Chased by Crows” sheds light on a dark futuristic world starting from the year 2048. We are introduced to “Sulaiman Al-Zar'”; living in the “Dead White City” with his daughter and grandchildren, he speaks of his misery and suffering from poverty and his pathological fear of crows, which symbolize misfortune and doom in our culture. The narrative blends a first-person account by Sulaiman with an external narration by Ra’w Alim, intertwined with the COVID-19 pandemic dominating most of its chapters, adding a unique and intriguing aspect.

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