When politics corrupts the art of literature… “King Farouk” is a fictional character awaiting narrative justice

In the year 1936, the ancient world witnessed an acceleration of fateful events. In Britain, King Edward VIII was in the process of abdicating the throne to his younger brother so he could marry his American sweetheart, and the British broadcaster BBC launched its first television broadcast which will form the mainstay of the archives of the anticipated war, and Adolf Hitler prepares the German Air Force for the impending war, and a stone’s throw away in the old continent itself The civil war begins in Spain, while the fascist dictator Franco controls the reins of power in the country. In Cairo, dreaming of independence, the throne was finally established in the hands of a boy not more than seventeen years old, handsome and slim, who inherited the Balkan features of his ancestors and tried to preserve his Egyptian character to prove to the subjects, promising a different future, he is Farouk I, the last king of Egypt.

Farouk sat on the throne under the guardianship, and the rule naturally came to him after the death of his father. At a time when senior statesmen bowed before him, and everyone flattered him, Farouk al-Saghir carried the legacy of his father’s oppression, family strife and illness. Then he fell prey to bad advisers and position seekers, and finally his lost throne because of his arrival to the king “while in the freshness of youth and the shallowness of knowledge.” This is the image presented to him by the novel “Farouk the Last” by the lawyer and writer Montaser Amin.

In Cairo of 1936, which was experiencing dreams of independence, the throne was finally established in the hands of a boy of no more than seventeen years old, handsome and thin, who inherited the Balkan features of his ancestors and tried to to prove his Egyptianness. the subjects, who promise a different future, he is Farouk I, the last king of Egypt

The novel makes Farouk, the king who was overthrown on this day, July 23, 1952, a starting point for dealing with the political and social events that plagued Egypt before that year, ending with the establishment of continuous military rule under the officers’ movement, which claims to get rid of corruption The ruling class and politicians during the monarchy.

The development of Egyptian literature, like others, was linked to the political and social conditions that Egypt experienced, and the years of the forties and fifties in which the Egyptians’ resistance to the British occupation and their efforts to gain independence, seed seen. of rebellion against the rule of the Muhammad Ali family after the Egyptians lost hope that Farouk would be able to create Change and achieve the independence they hope for, especially with the increasing poverty due to the lack of justice and the global economic crises with the Second World War. All these circumstances had their reflection on the literature produced in that period.

Contrary to the perceptions that led to the tightening of censorship in the years before 1952, the great writer Bahaa Taher monitors the rise of what he considers a realistic trend in the writing of the novel that does not “the corruption of the feudal monarchy, which King Farouk was a symbol of all its dissolution,” as Taher’s book “In Praise” says the novel. Taher, who is known for his Nasserist nationalist tendencies, says: “It was natural for realist literature to flourishing during this period, or socialist realism literature with its own Egyptian characteristics. Such novels as New Cairo, The Beginning, The End, and Midaq Alley appear by a young writer, Naguib Mahfouz, who will receive the Nobel Prize after almost half a century, the novel The Earth by Abdel Rahman Al-Sharqawi, which Youssef Chahine from my point of view embodied in his best films. , the collection of short stories, the cheapest nights, and the novel a love story [وكلتاهما] For the great creator Youssef Idris, and in this and other works, it represented to some extent the characteristics of the curriculum: that is, the interest in social and economic influences in the formation of characters and their behavior, and a accurate description of the social environment within which people move and which contributes to their making, as much as the positive heroes contribute to making them. And its reconfiguration, the descriptive language specific and clear, and the missionary message that is not hidden from the reader will not be, that is to say, the struggle waged by these heroes against foreign and colonial powers, and against internal tyranny and feudalism, will end – despite its cruelty – with the defeat of all that evil, and the liberation of the fatherland and man. This realistic literature was a new shift in the course of Egyptian literature, and a natural response to the stage in which it appeared.

Contrary to the perceptions that led to the tightening of censorship in the years before 1952, the great writer Bahaa Taher monitors the emergence of what he considers a realistic trend in the writing of the novel, he did not have the ” corruption of the feudal monarchy, which King Farouk was a symbol of all its dissolution.”

But this “evangelization” was not related to or presented to the king himself. Farouk was absent from the literary scene itself. After 1952, his presence, whether by symbol or direct sign, was reduced to the rules and prohibitions prescribed by the new ruling class, which aimed to reshape Egypt’s image in the stage before its rule. A group of studies issued by the American University in Egypt under the title “Re-imagining” Egypt in the period from 1919 to 1952.

Returning to “The Last Farouk”, the most recent novels issued about the person of the king, we find that they do not stray far from the narratives that preceded them, and exposed symbolism or explicitness to the character of the king, who took over the power. as a handsome young man and left him as a limp and sickly old man, as the author’s political doctrine and vision of politics before 1952 The focus of the foundation, which dealt with the personality of Farouk.

The novel opens with a scene depicting the return of King Farouk to Egypt as a corpse waiting to be buried. The author begins by preparing a report on the approval of the responsible authorities in the “United Arab Republic” on a request submitted by the family of Farouk, the former king of Egypt, to be buried there, and this approval was issued “an expression” of the tolerance of the people in the United Arab Republic and the breadth of their human outlook.” The land of Egypt, which narrowed Farouk and rejected him as king, has place for him before their Creator, who alone after death owns the account of their sins.

After this opening scene, the novel returns to Rome, Italy, where Farouk’s last hours of exile pass. The weather was not good that night, although spring was approaching. The full moon did not make up for the sky, which was dark, heavy with clouds that foretold the possibility of rain, a strong air current coming from the side of moved down the Vatican. building east, pierced Via Orella Antica, makes a sound approaching. Despite a light storm, emphasizing the cold prevailing throughout the ancient Italian city, despite that, the pressure was clear in front of plot no. 270, specifically in front of the famous restaurant that bears a luxurious sign written in elegant Latin script: Ile de France Farouk continued to eat the cake until half, Then he ate five bananas, followed by five apples, and swallowed the orange in two . He leaned back in the seat and sighed audibly, as if he had just finished a long marathon, and then Farouk died trying to catch his breath.”

The novel here presents the image that spread about Farouk’s death, about his greed for food that led to his death, and then moves from that to the rumor that the ruling Egyptian regime led by Gamal Abdel Nasser killed Farouk by poison into his food, and it takes the truth of the private claims Farouk’s death in a natural way is the focus of her plot, as she continues to return from that moment to Farouk’s journey in ruling Egypt to address, and then return to his youth, his childhood “full of conflicts”.

Author Montaser Amin told Raseef22: “There is a great advantage of the novel that relies on historical incidents, namely that destinies have been decided, lives have ended and history has judged. Then the artist can find the ground before him to to formulate. his point of view, because in most cases history has set the beginning and the end. The writer must dig deep and gently, and sometimes even voyeurize through human relations in history, and this is what I tried to do in “The last Farouk .” those around him of people and retinue.”

He continues: “What prompted me to write about Farouk is the importance of the historical period he lived through; it is a crucial period in the modern history of Egypt, and indeed the entire region. Before Farouk, Egypt was a kingdom and after him it became a republic. The region also changed dramatically, so the Zionist entity appeared in Palestine and the borders between countries changed. Finally, it was a period of massive transformations, the consequences of which still struggling until now.”

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