A Man Chased by Crows


Publishing House: Al Ain Publishing House

Publication Year: 2023

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 184

The novel “A Man Chased by Crows,” published by Elain Publishing House in 2023 (184 pages) by the Saudi writer Yousef Al-Mohaimeed, sheds light on a dark future world, starting in 2048. We get to know “Sulaiman Al-Zaraa,” living in a “dead white city” with his daughter and grandchildren, talking about his misery, poverty, and his pathological fear of crows.

The novel combines Sulaiman’s narrative with the external narrative of the narrator, Raou Alim, with the COVID-19 pandemic dominating most of its chapters, giving it a unique and thrilling character.

Sulaiman Al-Zaraa suffers from worries and obsessions that have plagued his family for generations, in an environment characterized by Bedouin traits before modernization. The narrator, Alim, depicts Sulaiman’s isolation, imagining heavy snowfall and birds’ sounds resembling scattered corpses, with a deep sense of despair and melancholy.

Sulaiman’s Solitary Journey: Reflections Amidst the Shadow of COVID-19

Two years after the end of the COVID-19 lockdown, Sulaiman was still haunted by the “ferocious crows.” He decided to isolate himself from the world and withdrew into his home until the right moment came on a fall night when he silently left with his daughter Hadeel, passing by the resident crows, leaving behind their home, mulberry tree, the scent of his father, childhood memories, and youth.

The narrative recalls the events of 2020 through Sulaiman’s diary during the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes Riyadh, the city of joy and fun, as deserted, with its residents cautiously leaving their homes as if they were thieves, their masks hiding their features, their gloves hinting at potential crimes.

During the COVID-19 days, Sulaiman Al-Zaraa lived in a Riyadh neighborhood with his elderly father and daughter, whose mother divorced him due to her mistreatment of his father and grandmother before her death. He worked in an investment company, with a strained relationship with his manager. At this time, the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, resulting in his father’s death. He remembered his grandmother’s words about Najd villages during the plague and also his grandfather’s death a hundred years ago due to fever. These events led him to reflect on the impact of COVID-19 on his life and society.

Read More About Yousef Al-Mohaimeed

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