Wednesday July 06, 2022

Book review — ‘String’

By Ibn Ahmed
January 02, 2020

In ‘String of a Camel to Steering Wheel’, the Saudi society and culture comes out in its full form with changing blend of life spectrum. The book curiously studies its society and the pictures portrayed are lively, exquisite and energetic as they are true to common life. Using a larger canvas, it paints the pictures on the world stage with the Saudi society in focus. It depicts a wider outlook of the society that has convincingly emerged in recent times.

The pictures drawn are both characteristic and typical. For instance, ‘The Saudi coffee (Qahwah)’ is portrayed as ‘a status-elevator, para-wing as it fills up the power to fly with.’ And, then, it is personified as ‘a diplomat’ and ‘a strategist’. It also symbolises ‘mass cohesion mesmerising the minds of all…’ The topic discussed gives many concrete examples. Next, ‘The Saudi Woman Vendor’ is portrayed as ‘a captain of her family fleet that steers on its economy. She is a symbol of patience and tolerance. She has got a natural barometer fixed in her pulse sensitised enough to measure the fluctuating market conditions and, as a micro-investor, she is halter of recession.’ Another important character of the society is ‘A Cleric’ (Mutawa’) who is ‘the eye of the torch and the source of truth that emanates force and light as he has a mandate granted by the Heaven. The ‘Mutawa’ is a vice fighter and stands firm against villainous character and the satanic forces in the world.’ Another topic, ‘The Veil: A Defence of the World’ observes: ‘It is fort against foe and repels vice. It is deterrence against intrusion.’

The chapters titled, ‘Hamlet’ and ‘Dubai Pilgrimage’ absorb the reader with surprise as he finds himself in a world hitherto unknown to him inciting empathy and passion in himself with a free flow of mind, language and thought: ‘Dubai Pilgrimage purges the tired human souls as well as the jinnis, and it fills them up with seven-spirits and finally powers them up to feel high, flag high and fly high!’

Among other things, the book has fast moving glimpses of the case related to the Saudi folk traffic wheel together with the recent identical human sufferings in Syria, Palestine, Kashmir and in Christchurch. Some other leading chapters include, ‘The Great Orbit’, ‘The Madinah Link’, ‘Hijab’, ‘A Manager’ (Mudeer) etc.

Author: Alauddin Butt

Publisher: Idarah Pakist­an Shanasi, Lahore

Pages: 194