The reason to write a novel instead of political or scientific book is to reach the public who usually don’t follow the news.
The totally unexpected uprisings in North Africa and the Middle East in 2011, called “The Arab Spring”, is the motive for writing this book. Entirely from the experience of a West-European who followed the news, and in direct contact with revolutionaries, he finds a way to show his sympathy to the brave protestors and their stories captured in this fascinating book. The mystery of the Arab world, the different way of life, the openness of the people touching him deeply. He is generally aware of the happenings in the Arab countries, both political and from a human point of view. He examined the history of dictatorships.
He wants the reader to experience what the protesters in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria felt when they fight for a dignified future.
The quiet life of Khaled comes to an end when he joins a group of dissidents from the previous failed uprising. After the first meeting with them, he is soon confronted with intimidation by the secret services. The whole situation is getting out of control when he decides to fight against the injustice. Two friends are arrested and it is still questionable whether they are alive. At work he has a fight with his boss and he gets fired. Just when he thinks this was the worst, his wife demands him to leave. The whole uncertainty has a major impact on the family and they leave abroad. Without Khaled. Khaled chooses to stand side by side with the demonstrators on the square. A young activist, Fatima, offers him some consolation. She seems to understand him and there is an innocent love that develops into a dependency where they both get caught in. Ali, a friend, disagree on this forbidden love but he cannot convince Khaled to stay out of more trouble. Together they fight against the oppression by the regime of the president. What follows is a bloody battle with the security forces, but the protesters are beyond fear. They see death but there is nobody he gives up. There is no turning back. Freedom or death.
The summer season has just begun and the first protests are planned. Everywhere in the city you can see the black, white, red posters hanging on walls: Friday, March 28, the great turning point! Free or die! It gives a scary feeling, because everyone knows that the will to demonstrate is very popular. For decades, the population is suppressed. Most people have to survive on $ 2 a day. If you consider that food prices and housing prices have risen sharply in recent decades and the rent for a small apartment in the city is about $ 150 per month. A bread costs already 50 cents these days. Rice is even more expensive. For years they make us to believe everything will be better. There will be more jobs to come, and a new health insurance system that gives everyone right to medical care. Education to a higher level. Our children will be able to study and become influential in our country as directors or high qualified doctors. Everything will be better! I still hear it in my head. Everything gets better! This is what they say for over twenty years now and nothing has changed. Yes, it’s all worse. Many people suffer from this policy because they find no longer work and get to beggary. On television, we are plagued by real life soap operas about the rich and famous. It’s all a big lie.
When the still sea expects its bride
Opens up its beauty.
The once so quite ocean
Shakes up its waves.
For the day of dreams,
For the day of awakening
There she is.
The shining flow
Touching the waves of need
Guided by the reflection of light
By the power of love
Frank Beuken, 2011
The book is, for now only available in the Dutch language. From February 2013 in German and April 2013 in English. Inshallah the book can be published soon in Arabic as well.
The Dutch version can be ordered at publisher Boekscout in the Netherlands. They support global shipping. http://boekscout.nl/shop/