A question was frequently raised asking about the reason why Iraq is considered a home of poetry and why fiction is almost invisible. the answer was brief due to time and occasion that was always stressing on poetry at the time; but this held me responsible to investigate the real boundaries of fiction in Iraq..and to be honest..we were the ones looking with the eye of poetry to the cultural arena!
fiction, when, how and why...
(Dates and Yoghourt) is an Iraqi novel by Khudheir Fleyeh Alzaydi that reflects on the bitter taste of contradictions that Iraqis endured to survive and where Alzaydi provided his pages with the essence of Iraqi beings in a painful surrealism; it leads us to a conclusion, after having the chance to listen to each other after the topple of Saddam Hussein and the decline of its bloody secret force, that each and every Iraqi individual is a unique novel by himself.
Novels like ( A donkey and three Republics, Khudher Qad and the Olivaceous Era, Behind the Dam, and Dates and Yoghurt) represent a delayed slap on the face of terminators and scourgers. works that embodied the Iraqi memory as a precaution from being caught in a stage of cure less Alzheimer. these works teach us how a suffering soul could neutralize its anger in a descent piece of writing art. this is only a small portion of what was released during the post Saddam era where a series of documentaries were issued in several languages to attract humane support, global subconsciousness and facing it with naked pain; pain with no make up nor care. these writings were actually pushing the rented pens that glorified previous regime's war machines off the cliff.
The Iraqi writers, in spite of being held back from expression, chased the steps of fiction modules and their developments across different cultures in the world and what was being created in this marvelous field of documentary expression; Thus being capable of manipulating these instruments when seizing the chance to do so.
Behind the Dam by Abdullah Alsikhi, was an attempt to draw the strokes of an Iraqi identity and sub identity that covered vast areas of intellectual discussions after 2003.
A donkey and three Republics by Karim Qtafa, exposes subsequent forms of governance in Iraq and struggling poles of power; At the same level we recall the titles of the writer Abdul Karim Alubaidi (Flies and Emerald) and ( Lost in Hafr Albatin).
At the same time parallel attempts emerged to reflect on the sense of exile that millions of Iraqis endured to save their lives and careers like Tishari by Inaam Kechachi , Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmad Saadawi, and Recollecting the lion by Warith Bader.
. Many novels were dedicated to discuss the issue of Iraqi Identity, like Shrugiyya by Shawqi Karim, Basriyans by Mohammed Khudheir, Memory of Arrapha (ancient Kirkuk) by Mohammed Jabbur Alwan and many others.
It is very important to point out that Iraq has witnessed a critical turning point when the nature of division was transformed from a political approach (Baathists, Communists and Islamists) into Sectoral divisions that reflect the voices of constituents of the Iraqi social texture. thus novels, fiction or any documentary can rarely avoid a certain tang or trait.
Edited by Maythem Alharbi and Amal Ibrahim