“Maya” is a novel of homesickness

duration/ The novel “Maya” by Jerusalem author Jamil al-Salhout was published this year in 2022, and is located on 102 pages of medium size, and its first cover carries a painting by the plastic artist Muhammad Nasrallah, its producer and director by Charbel Elias.

An interesting and interesting novel written in an easy language suitable for young people and for all ages of reading and reading enthusiasts.

The novel carries with its folds and lines many educational, national, human and cognitive values ​​and meanings.

– The characters of the novel are in fact real with their presence and their names .. such as the esteemed grandparents, grandpa Jamil and grandma Halima, and their sons, including Qais and his wife Marwa, and their daughters Lina, Mira and Maya, who are expatriates in Chicago, as well as their nearest neighbors “Bethlehem” David and Abeer and their daughter Melissa and grandmother Hala Al-Tunisi and her daughters Marwa and Safa uncle Ahmed and others.

In his novel, the author sheds light on the child (Maya), that intelligent and creative child who loves her parents and grandparents, and her motherland Palestine and the city of Jerusalem, the birthplace of her father Qais and her grandparents in Jabal Mukaber .. And the extent of her attachment to this charming city and the beautiful homeland in all its details.

– p 15 in the conversation that took place between Maya and her grandmother, Hala al-Tunisi, and the paradoxes between the city of Carthage and the city of Jerusalem. Both are old and beautiful cities with their architecture and details. Maya is, however, addressing her grandmother, saying that “in Jerusalem there are things that are not found in other cities of the world, just as there is no city that looks like Jerusalem,” where she began to list his religious and historical landmarks which does not exist, nor in Carthage. nor in any city in the world.

The effect of grandparents’ stories for grandchildren on the noble values ​​of love and attachment to the fatherland .. and its positive reflection on the mentality of the grandchildren and their consolidation in their minds. While the grandparents talk about Jameel and Halima with their granddaughters about the city of Jerusalem and the grandeur of its history and sanctuaries, its markets and walls, the splendor of its inhabitants and its sky..etc.

In the novel, there was an instruction for the reading students, especially the expatriates, to take memorial photographs in the holy places in Jerusalem and other cities of Palestine Al-Talhameen and their colleague Anoud, whose grandparents live in Jordan, are from Jordanian origin, and their interesting conversations about Jerusalem and Palestine, either by listening to them from their grandparents or by repeated direct visits to her. Historic Places and Cities in Jordan by Anoud .. This cultural exchange between colleagues enriches the knowledge of each of them.

– The novel mentioned many historical monuments in our country, such as Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Acre and other historical cities of Palestine.

– In the novel there is a definition of the proximity of the border between the East Bank (Jordan) and the West Bank (Palestine), where the Jordan River separates them, which points to the brutal occupation that is an obstacle to reaching both banks in a short time .. despite the short distance between them.

Page 22 and 23 Maya talks to her friend Anoud about the cruel occupation and his unjust practices against worshipers and the assault on passers-by at Bab al-Amud.

– Pg 24-25 The verbal argument that took place between Maya and her teacher in the classroom over pictures of the Dome of the Rock and the Qibli Mosque in Al-Aqsa, which was owned by Maya, and the teacher’s claim that they took pictures of the Temple Mount, which angered Maya and her colleague Anoud and others … and their insistence on their Palestinian Arab identity. And if Maya is a Muslim and Melissa a Christian, then there is no difference between a Muslim and a Christian in our country.

– Pg 46 Many proverbs that the author dealt with in his novel Maya .. such as the love of grandparents for grandchildren (which is more precious than a boy besides the boy’s child) and other popular proverbs.

– pp 52-55 Parents Qais and Marwa instruct their daughters on the importance of using the mother tongue Arabic, by talking to them in Arabic, and by Arabic children’s programs broadcast by Arabic satellite channels, as well as by songs and hymns in Arabic .. Like Maya’s admiration and memorization of some of Fayrouz’s songs like Tech You, Umm Suleiman .. Oh Mahla, her light came out .. and songs from our country, like Shamset Shamisa and others ..

– p 64 is mentioned in the novel as an indication of the level of interest in the individual in America .. That was when Tamrouh screamed extremely when she saw the garden snake, even though it was not poisonous .. What Mira released to When the neighbors heard the screams, they called the police, who in turn answered the call. Immediately .. they came and then left after checking the reason for the screaming ..

– It’s funny what I read in the novel is Maya’s grandfather’s fear of snakes, even though they were dead, even though he ate fox and hyena meat in his childhood .. p. 62.

In the novel, the students are directed to readers to pay attention to the cultures of people, as well as about the countries of China, Korea, Vietnam, and others, and their hunting of snakes, to eat them while eating insects, rats , crickets and others.

– In the novel there is also a definition of the motherland, the fatherland of the fathers and grandfathers who were born, lived, died and buried there, our motherland, Palestine .. In the novel, the ultimate call to return of the expatriates to the country and their involvement in their society and participation in the construction and conservation thereof of foreigners.

On pages 70-80, readers are enriched with knowledge in terms of the accurate and interesting description of Niagara Falls, which the family of Qais and Marwa visited during the short Christmas holiday. They chose to visit the country during the long summer vacation. to enjoy seeing Jerusalem, and some Palestinian cities among parents and grandparents. However, the Corona pandemic prevented the realization of this visit, which Maya and her sisters had been waiting for a long time … p. 97-98.

– The introduction of the sport of yoga as an enrichment of knowledge for student readers .. p. 92 .. to which Maya was introduced by an old woman who practiced it in the foyer of a Niagara hotel.

Maya’s novel is generally rich in human, cognitive and patriotic values. Among the educational messages carried by the novel is the emphasis on expatriate fathers and mothers raising their children to love and belong to the homeland through many ways such as regular visits to our land Palestine and its sacred and historical places visited. And their constant talk about the homeland, in all its details, of the heritage and stories of our ancestors, and the crimes of the greedy invaders in our country, as well as the interest in raising them in our Arabic language.

It goes without saying that the novel “Maya” is a novel of nostalgia.

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