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نزيف الحجر The moufflon a wild sheep prized for its meat continues to survive in the remote mountain desert of southern Libya Only Asouf a lone bedouin who cherishes the desert and identifies with its creatures knows exactly where it is to be found Now he and the moufflon together come under threat from hunters who have already slaughtered the once numerous desert gazelles The novel combines pertinent ecological issues with a moving portrayal of traditional desert life and of the power of the human spirit to resist It's nice to read a modern Arabic work that for once revolved around themes other than religion and politics This particular story focused on environmentalism especially the delicate balance of desert ecology where in the absence of civilization man and beast depended directly on one another for survival The story incorporates 'magical realism' in the form of North African Sufi folk spirituality to give explanation for the events It's a little like a Bedouin folk tale version of the 'Old Man and the Sea except with a solitary old man heroically guarding the last vestiges of the desert values and spirituality against the encroachment of greed and technology The hipster American Marine who shallowly dabbled in eastern spirituality and came to join in the slaughter of wild animals to get a taste of what he called 'spiritual food' is a veiled political reference perhaps But I also see it as a diatribe against the foodie who derives excitement from eating exotic animals and cloaks it with spiritual and cultural meaning like putting on protective amulets before consuming when in fact his destruction to satisfy his glutton is the exact opposite of the exotic eastern spirituality he claimed to followSee also The Atlantic The Moral Crusade Against Foodies The Bleeding of the Stone is the work of Libyan author Ibrahim al Koni who has won several awards among them the Swiss State Award 1995 for this book the Japanese Translation Committee Award for his Gold Dust 1997 and in 2010 the Arab Novel Award His novel New Waw Saharan Oasis won him a place on the shortlist for the National Translation Award in 2015 the same year he found himself as a finalist for the Man International Booker PrizeIn general as noted by Ursula Lindsey at The Nation al Koni's entire oeuvre charts the disintegration of the country's nomadic tribal and mythic culture under the impact of foreign intrusions and then of oil wealthThe Bleeding of the Stone pulls in the reader not just because of the story but also because of the lovely blending of mysticism Sufism Islam the Old Testament and traditional beliefs Additionally some of its chapters have epigraphs from such thinkers as Herodotus Sophocles and Ovid that set the stage for what's to come within It can definitely be read as an environmental work and as a portrait of the desert itself but it is also a story that pits the traditional world against the worst of modern intrusions and a novel that speaks to resistance Finally it is just flat out beautiful in terms of the writing While I will say that it's not going to be for everyone it's a very out of the box kind of read that absolutely demands reader participation and lots of think time at the same time it is an incredibly powerful novel that I can most heartily recommend This book is my first foray into the body of Al Koni's work though I feel a pang of guilt that as a Libyan I read the translated English version rather than the original Arabic Libya is a large country and oftentimes the inhabitants of different regions hardly know about each other For most of those who live on the Northern coastal cities Fezzan the Southern province is something of a mystery We know that there's large expanses of desert and a slightly different culture but there's no real interaction With Al Koni's works we get a chance to experience a taste of life in Libya's deserts and The Bleeding of the Stone offers a great look into the environment the people and the challenges present there The novel presents the life and fate of Asouf the goat herder Unlike the other nomads of the desert Asouf lives alone and understands better than most the mysteries of the desert giving him an almost legendary status among the others It's this status that gets him ensnared in the hands of poachers who demand to know where Libya's famed waddan live The background of all the characters are explored leading to this final confrontation There's a lot of religious symbolism used from Christianity and Islam to the mystic African religions which is a good reflection of the mixed cultural identity Libya has I loved the beautiful descriptions of the wildlife and terrain of Southern Libya although it's a bittersweet feeling to know that it won't be explored or developed as long as the conflict in the country continues Of all the provinces in Libya Fezzan probably suffers from the worst marginalization There's also an important message on the environmental dangers of poaching in Libya's south a problem that organizations like the Libyan Wildlife Trust have stressed on due to the unregulated hunting that goes on thereI feel like I might have robbed myself from further appreciation of the book by reading a translated version perhaps the original will be fascinating I'm very happy to find one of my all time favorite writer in the library of Goodreads Ibrahim Al Koni is brilliant writer and if like to know about Libya or live in a new myth you real have to read Al Koni Actually I'd like to recommend all his books but this is the only one I found in here It's really really so good

  • Paperback
  • 136 pages
  • نزيف الحجر
  • Ibrahim al-Koni
  • English
  • 07 June 2016
  • 9781566564175

About the Author: Ibrahim al-Koni

إبراهيم الكوني is a Libyan writer and one of the most prolific Arabic novelistsBorn in 1948 in Fezzan Region Ibrahim al Koni was brought up on the tradition of the Tuareg popularly known as the veiled men or the blue men Mythological elements spiritual uest and existential uestions mingle in the writings of al Koni who has been hailed as magical realist Sufi fabulist and poetic novelistHe spent his childhood in the desert and learned to read and write Arabic when he was twelve Al Koni studied comparative literature at the Maxim Gorky Literature Institute in Moscow and then worked as a journalist in Moscow and WarsawBy 2007 al Koni had published than 80 books and received numerous awards All written in Arabic his books have been translated into 35 languages His novel Gold Dust appeared in English in 2008

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