February 21, 2024

“Bahbel: Makkah Multiverse”, An Invitation to Integrate Heritage and Modernity

Bahbel: Makkah Multiverse Review

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With the passage of time, individuals come to realize that revisiting history in general is a necessity, especially the history of the city in which one was born, raised, and lived. This helps in understanding the people surrounding them, their interactions, the ideas that shaped their culture, and their influence on behavior. This is precisely what the novel “Bahbel: Makkah Multiverse 1945-2009” by the Saudi writer Raja Alem attempts to do. Published by “Dar Al-Tanweer for Publishing” in Lebanon, the novel addresses an extremely important topic that extends beyond a specific society or the city of Mecca alone. It encompasses all societies striving for progress and triumphing over modernization.

Observing Changes Over More Than Half a Century

In her novel, spanning no more than 350 pages, the author succinctly encapsulates the history and transformations of a society or an entire nation over seventy years, using a different and innovative language born out of her environment.

The novel begins with a highly revolutionary and resounding opening, where the author states,

“It is important to acknowledge that what drove me to write is this anger towards the inherent severity of the veiled slavery they submitted to – a slavery masked as love, honor, and protection of dignity, but crushes and erases identity and existence effortlessly.”

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