Recently, distinguished novels by Omani women writers have emerged, and among these novels, the novel (Amy Kuljahan.. Tales of Shadow and the Hours) by Ghania Al-Shabibi, published by the Omani Society for Writers and Writers in cooperation with Alan Publishers and distributors in Jordan.
The novel begins with a place or village called Al-Huwayra, which is a diminutive of what is known as Al-Harah. The exact location is located in the state of Musannah. And the novel, it seems, was conceived by the writer as a documentation of the village of al-Huwayra through the nature of rural and social life and its contradictions. It gives an exemplary image of the work that it relates to the nature of the work of the people of the village (Al-Huwayra) and its famous agricultural crops, and others. The character of Culghan in the novel was distinguished by this strange character in the village, with his clothes and his language Gwadariyah.
It is noticed that the characters of the novel appear and disappear, which gives another dimension in the ability of the writer to grasp the plot of the novel and make it interconnected by moving the characters, according to his roles and the nature of his work. in the village . And in fluent language, known as the free association method.
It can also be noted that the writer gave the novel a cultural dimension by grafting the novel with reference to the most important Omani literature known as the masterpiece of notables of Salmi and other well-known and important books of Omani culture. It in itself gives diversity to the novel on an artistic, creative and cognitive level.
And because the novel gives a complete picture of the village called Al-Huwayra. It can be stated, however briefly, about the nature of the characters’ roles in the novel. Among these is the father’s marriage to Shamsa. After the death of his wife, Razia, and in 1950 AD, what was known as smallpox was spread by travelers to Gwadar and Makran. Those who have contracted the disease are treated by transferring them to Muttrah, and they are cared for by Dr. Thoms, an American doctor known to the majority of Omanis. The patients are isolated in a tent in the village called (Baldaki), and those who contracted the disease, Kuljhan and Radiya, have died. They are young. Shamsa appears as an active woman, but has no children, as she makes bread chips using a stone stove, arak wood and Ghaf wood. Then she sings:
i have a sweet lover
i have a bitter lover
One swam in the sea
One of them swam to me.
On the other hand, we also find Jokha caring for orphans, who came with her husband and children from Rustaq, to escape the oppression of her husband’s brothers, their tyranny and their struggle for the inheritance of their father. The inhabitants of the village of Al-Huwayra are distinguished by the fact that most of them work on farms and have nothing to do with the sea. On the other hand, we find that there is a relationship between the people of Al-Huwayra with some Omani countries including Tyre, where we find a merchant from Tire named Al-Nokhatha Hilal proposing to his son Mubarak Koljahan after growing up. -Nokhadha Mubarak bin Hilal, her name is changed to Moza and she moves to live in Tyre, but Aisha does not like Koljahan or Moza and works for her, unlike her aunt Salima, who loves her. And because Culghana got married to Tyr, she started wearing fake clothes and mingling with them. However, soon after his marriage to Mubarak, Mubarak decided to travel on the trading ship Umm al-Khair to some countries like India and others, leaving his wife Kuljahan as she was pregnant. Where he left her to face her fate in her family’s home. However, due to her inability to live in the house of her husband Mubarak, Culghan. She decided to return to her village, al-Huwayra. When she returned, the first person she met was Al-Shayeb Muslim, and asked if he could take her to the street. At first, Al-Shayeb Muslim asked her, “Who are you, my daughter? Did you get married in Tyre? She said, “Yes, uncle, I was the one who married Tyr.” But after she reached her parents’ house, they got angry with her because she left her husband’s house without his knowledge. After her husband Mubarak divorced them, they decided to marry her to another person for fear of scandal. And Koljahan suffers from a disease in the womb, and is subjected to several treatments, including these beliefs, what is called zar, and the novel can be said to vary in its climates, because it does not take a only linear path, but rather travels through climates, and everything that exists in the fifties and sixties provokes the novel, such as the work of the villagers, the misery and the comings and goings. Some of them work in the Gulf countries. And the lack of schools, and the novel moves to the start of the Renaissance in the year 1970 AD, and the return of Omanis from abroad. But at the end of the novel, the mystery of Colghan’s disease remains dominant.
We can say that the writer knew how to grasp the intricacies of the fictional work and avoid falling into what is called structural writing. And his ability also to delve into the psychological aspects of the characters in the novel, which confirms the true culture that the writer appreciates in the work of fiction. Therefore, Kuljan’s novel remains one of the beautiful Omani novels that motivates its reading, especially the generation that did not recognize the era of the fifties and sixties that crossed Omani society until the beginning of the modern renaissance in the 1970s.