Ziadov

Ziadov

Publishing House: Madarek Publishing House

Publication Year: 2023

Genre: Memoirs

Number of Pages:

“Ziadov,” a book by Saudi author Ziad Al-Drees, is an inventive exploration of his personal experiences and observations of Russia, a country he has deeply engaged with over a significant part of his life. The title “Ziadov,” cleverly coined by Al-Drees, deviates from the Russian tradition of appending ‘ov’ to family names, symbolizing his independent perspective on the Russian experience. This distinct view is partly attributed to Al-Drees’s unique educational background, having studied in non-traditional destinations for Saudi students, which allowed him to culturally and intellectually reposition himself in his understanding of the region and the world.

In the first half of the book, Al-Drees captivates the reader with a journey through Russia’s frigid temperatures, navigating landmarks like the Red Square, Kremlin palaces, the State Duma, the historic Stariy Arbat Street, and the Bolshoi Theatre, with its silent ballet performances. This journey offers a brief overview of a decade in Russia at the millennium’s turn, with events and amusing paradoxes.

The latter half of “Ziadov” compiles a series of articles and academic papers presented by Al-Drees at various events. These writings predominantly revolve around Arab-Russian relations, advocating for their revitalization and openness towards Dostoevsky’s land, which lies just a few hours away from the Arab region. Al-Drees’s call for this engagement and exchange gains urgency, especially in the current political climate, where global alignments increasingly influence the course of international affairs and evolving global issues.

“Ziadov” emerges as more than a collection of essays; it is a cohesive thematic unit that blends memories and viewpoints on Russia in a hybrid genre combining essay writing and autobiographical elements. Characterized by agility and lightness in style, the book delights and enriches the reader with linguistic prowess and profound insights. Al-Drees’s work is a significant contribution, offering a fresh perspective on

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