The novel was published, and I saw this

I am the writer, I am the writer

The first novel was printed in a library near Tishreen University. I printed one copy to re-read, then saw that it was not suitable for publication, this was in 2009. It felt somewhat subjective, poetic and special to me. I decided to rewrite it. And I actually rewrote it, and made a completely different novel out of it. Same tale. But everything about it is different.

Once again, I printed one copy in a library near Tishreen University, until I re-read it, and we entered the year 2012. Then I sent it to an Arab publishing house, and they sent me after months of rehearsal for the book to be published at the Beirut Exhibition (2013). However, the events that began in Syria began to undermine the awareness of the possible, whose delusion we used to live. The country as we knew it was collapsing, people were arrested and killed in the massacres of “religious” and “state” violence. Friends went to war or to exile, with no hope of returning.

It was at this time that I began writing the novel “Cornfields”. I apologized for the opportunity to publish, and decided that it would be my first work on what was happening. Not about a personal love story. And maybe I got it wrong. And so, feeling the possibility of death, and his presence in close proximity, I decided to write my testimony as well. Because what happens will not happen again in the life of any of us.

As such, my first book has not seen the light of day at least twice. I say at least, because in that period I prepared a book of poetry for publication in 130 pages. And I didn’t post it. So, I didn’t publish my first three books, and I’m afraid that of course I have.

With time, one realizes that it is writing that means what he means, not publishing, but from the beginning I had that realization, and I don’t know where it actually came to me. The first book could have been published in 2009, but it was released seven years later. And the time between being able to publish and actually publish is what made most of my thoughts about publishing.

Accepting to live in a country like Syria, makes you know when to ask, when to answer and when to be silent… Metaphor in Raseef22

In the end a man who finds himself a writer publishes something of what he writes. This is what happened in 2016 after the “Cornfields” was awarded the Tayeb Salih Prize. Instead of saying at twenty, I am a writer, I said it at twenty-six. When you look at the issue years later, there is no difference between these two ages. However, the books arrived to me after more than a year, and friends in Khartoum sent them through a Halabi merchant, whom they did not know. and Latakia, until they decided to destroy it after a year.

At that time, they called me, and asked if I was waiting for anything from Levant. And of course, I was not waiting. But I went and discovered that my first novel was finally in my hands. After nearly eight years of writing, I felt the caustic sweetness as Dostoevsky saw it. The important thing is, I called the merchant on the number on the parcel, to thank him, and he did not mention the issue easily. I always deliver my books to Syria by strangers I don’t know and don’t know, and now I don’t have a single copy of any of my books, as there was always a last copy I gave to a friend or stranger who asked for it.

There is an anecdote that happened with DHL. My friend, who participated in the Tayeb Salih Prize the following year, sent a copy of the novel as soon as she returned to Germany. She told me your book will arrive in 20 days as they told her, and I kept asking about the book for six months, maybe more, I don’t remember exactly. But they did not release the novel, and the clerk at the post told me that the books needed a permit. Once I found out, I stopped asking. I knew they wouldn’t give her a permit to stay with us. Naturally, and perhaps in my nature, I was afraid to ask again. Accepting to live in a country like Syria makes you know when to ask, when to answer and when to be silent. My friend bravely and amiably objected to my surrender. She said she would complain to DHL. But I objected to her idea. At some point I had realized, with certainty, that I was out of the world. And I had the feeling, as did others, that we were to dwell in Hell eternally. We are stuck.

With time, one realizes that it is writing that means what he means, not publishing, but from the beginning I had that realization, and I don’t know where it actually came to me. In the end a man who finds himself a writer publishes something of what he writes… a metaphor.

As for the publication itself, I tried to publish the novel before the award. I would have preferred this, despite its romance. I sent the novel to an Arab publishing house at the beginning of the year 2015, and they approved the manuscript, but they asked me for a large sum for publication. No matter what I had when I got the contract. But I am not with the publication that the writer pays for, I understand some resort to this option. But I refuse it. From the start I rejected it. Friends gave me many tips, and they tried to recommend the novel to their publisher friends for them to read. I thank them from my heart. But these things don’t really work. Thus, I found myself sending the novel to a literary prize that receives texts anonymously.

Like the tales we hear about predestination, the novel was sent hours before the award closed. Less than a day from the end of the nomination. Perhaps it was the last novel they would accept. I do not know. But the rest is known; The novel came out at the end, and I saw that well. Then it was published in a second edition by Mamdouh Adwan in the Emirates. However, only a few copies of it entered Syria. I know which houses are there. Sometimes I visit it. Sometimes I see it in bookstores on the Internet. It does exist. This is a fact now.

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