The Arch and the Butterfly


Publishing House: Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing

Publication Year: 2014

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 320

Mohammed Achaari’s The Arch and the Butterfly is a journey in the life of a left-wing Moroccan writer, Yousef, whose past life, political beliefs, and faith in his principles are shaken by a letter he receives one day.

In The Arch and the Butterfly, It takes a shock of this caliber to set a self-confident leftist to question values, convictions, and ways that he has followed without thinking for decades. But mere thinking, which tends to take a static, linear route, seems incapable of pushing human beings to re-assess their deeply-rooted beliefs yet tragedy has done the job, shaking him to the very core.

The Tragic Revelation: Yacine’s Death and Youssef’s Familial Turmoil

As Youssef al-Firsiwi is about to head out for his workday, he stumbles upon an enigmatic letter slid under his door. With a single, gut-wrenching sentence, he reads that his son Yacine, whom he thought was pursuing an engineering degree in Paris, died in Afghanistan while fighting alongside Islamist militants.

Navigating Personal and Social Turbulence: Youssef’s Struggles and Relationships

Born to a Moroccan father and a German mother, Yousif swiftly becomes entangled in familial calamities mirroring the turbulent times. Seeking solace, he turns to friends Ahmad and Ibrahim, who, in turn, navigate complicated business ventures and illicit activities.

At the same time, he attempts to rekindle a relationship with his estranged father. Already grappling with a shattered world, Yousif’s life takes another hit when his wife leaves him for another man, forcing him to confront profound questions about his values and sense of self.

Read More About Mohammed Achaari

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