Saliha’s Camel

Saliha's Camel

Publishing House: Arab Scientific Publishers

Publication Year: 2019

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 173

The novel “Saliha’s Camel” unfolds between the years 1901 and 1941, taking us back to the pre-modern state-building wars on the Arabian Peninsula, specifically during the Battle of Sareef between Abdulaziz Al Saud, who sought the assistance of Sheikh Mubarak Al-Sabah the ruler of the State of Kuwait at that time, to reclaim the Emirate of Najd, and Abdulaziz bin Rashid, the ruler of the Emirate of Jebel Shammar, who was loyal to the Ottoman Empire.

Kuwaiti author Saud Al-Sanousi takes us on a journey to the desert of the Arabian Peninsula at the beginning of the twentieth century, where the novel tells the story of an impossible love between the poet “Dakhil bin Asmar,” belonging to the Shammar tribe, and his cousin “Saliha bint Al Mahrous” or as they used to call her “Saliha bint Abuha.”

Exploring Love, Tradition, and Desert Life: Themes in Saud Al-Sanousi’s Novel

However, she marries her cousin “Saleh” after her father, the tribe’s sheikh, decides to marry her off to her cousin and refuses to marry her to her paternal cousin “Dakhil” who decides to leave his tribe after insulting Saliha’s uncle and goes to live in the State of Kuwait, only to be surprised by a war breaking out between his tribe and the State of Kuwait.

The novel presents a deeper picture of life in the desert, and the relationship between humans and the surrounding environment of animals, trees, vast skies, and desolate deserts. The author attempts to critique many of the customs and traditions that still exist in one form or another in our Arab societies and raises many philosophical questions about the concept of love, sacrifice, our perception of fate, and the suffering of loss.

Through poetic language, ancient desert vocabulary, and three main characters, Saud Al-Sanousi presents to us a legendary love affair, through which we learn about the nature of Bedouin life in the Arabian Peninsula desert, the struggles of women, and society’s perception of them.

Additionally, we learn about the features of Kuwait before the establishment of the modern state, and how it differed in its streets and buildings from the tribes and cities surrounding it.

Read More About Saud Alsanousi

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