Women in the City "Nisswa Fi al-Madina"
Fearless Writing Without Boundaries
By Rouquia Alami. A Palestinian Writer
It could be very true: virtual relationships are invading this huge space and most of which are done secretly. It might take different aspects, including actual characters, most of which are fictitious. Some of those relationships might go beyond chatting with acquaintances and take another turn in route to approaching “the framework of prohibition.”
That is the main idea behind the newly released book “Women in The City.”
One of the most controversial books for daring to fearlessly putting forward taboo issues.
Its outline comes from creating an assumed page on Facebook, which contains misleading references, and is under an incorrect personal information such as fake name and social status:
“Yet he will choose to believe that I am twentyish” she says. p 130Out of the four parts of the book, the review in context here only covers the part that is devoted to talk about the author and his relationships with women in the World of Facebook. The outcome of the book, and its main idea unmasks the author’s relationships with women, through social networking sites: Facebook, Twitter, and IMO. Stories leak secret conversations that were going on between him and those women, transcribing this experience into narrative stories. Regardless of her agreement to proceed in such acts, she regularly asks him to erase the conversation upon the end of each chat. “Don’t reveal our laundry publicly!”
Beautiful things only Happen OnceDespite its fantasy, the characters are different in style and aspects. Regardless, they still harmonize with each other. “A woman I knew beforehand, we were not friends, we had slight quarrels between us, unfortunately, I had discussed with her that dispute, we agreed, and our relationship became normal. She stopped the conversation for two years or more! I returned to Facebook with a camouflaged character under a pseudonym. There we discussed, poems and writings, and she told me about her adventures with her male friends” p. 179 What made the book unique and daring is that the author was brave enough to recount, not only entering the backstage of the social networking chat rooms, but also disclose what is going on secretly there. Here, the importance of the book is illustrated through its bold presentation and frank talk. We hardly find anyone within the social system that is empowered by Arab traditions, which prohibit addressing such a topic. Therefore, discourages writing about this subject as it simply falls within the social public embargo. In the middle of all those attempts to drag women to those chat rooms by exploiting their good will, he still meets women who reject the idea and resist the temptation offered by the seducer. She prefers loneliness and Sufism rather than falling into this trap. As a result, she withdrew from his life and abandoned all this by closing all related windows.
Similar incident:On the other hand, the issue focusing on the corridors of the chat rooms on social media was tackled by some Arab researchers and writers. This brings to mind the book “Chat Stories and Lessons” by the Saudi writer Nidal Hussein Almissiri A’ll-Sattar, who tackles through field research the issue of chat rooms. The book narrates a group of stories experienced through electronic conversations/chat over the Internet: twenty real stories of young men/women aged between twenty and twenty-eight years old, picked from Saudi Arabia Gulf and Arab Societies. All Sattar selects real case studies revealing the jeopardy of these chats and their harmful effect on society, which is caused by electronic communications. The title of the book is the best confirmation of that.
Between Doubt and CertaintyAs a result of the contradictions, the context of “Women in the City” is left open and confusing in dealing with the issue. This leads only to an unanswered question: “Did this happen in fact or was it just a fantasy of the writer’s imagination?” Based on the trio presented by the writer: himself, his wife, and his daughter, leads the reader to multiple conclusions; did these practices occurred or not? In the introduction the writer declares: In dealing with this topic from the three points of view, there is denial or agreement. This causes the reader to at times believe it is true and at times that it is not; In the introduction the writer says: “Moment please, please, there is nothing I can be ashamed of, and all of my sins happened upon my own free will, in agreement with the will of the Women in the City.” While his daughter refutes these practices and disagrees to what her father wrote. “My father was careful throughout his life while writing in general, he wrote for women poems and texts, perhaps only one unknown woman influenced his imaginary ideas named "Scheherazade" a woman he never had, thus still waiting to meet her one day in real reality! It is a state of spiritual love produced in his fictional dealings without obtaining the body of any woman.” Pg. 46 On the other hand, the wife’s conviction differs from the daughter. According to the writer, the wife says about him this: “I am a person booby-trapped with women, insisting that I have more than one woman friend and many others on Facebook. Therefore, she considers me worthless husband; here is a quote from his answer back to his wife claims: “In fact, she did not realize that none of that was true, even though my imaginary friends were many ... but they are just a number of no harm or benefit it only statements I post to readers who like my morning madness nothing more!... ... Indeed, in her view it has I am useless and do deserve neglect. 166-165
The book “Women of the City” in Arabic, By Feras Haj Mohammed was released end of October 2020 by Publishers: Al Ruaa in Ramallah Palestine, and Cultural Bridges in the Jordanian capital, Amman. Book cover was designed by Graphic Design Artist Maisam Feras Haj Mohammed.
Author, Feras Haj Mohammed is a Palestinian author born in Nablus City (1973): Critic, poet and essayist, this book is the last in a row of more than 20 books in poetry, literature, stories, and Critical studies.