A Translation into English of Khalil I. Al-Fuzai’s “Elapsing Days” (Note 1)

Gassim H. Dohal


A teacher considers resigning to return to his home village, but receives a letter telling him that he has already been transferred.  In this story, homesickness is presented as if it were a challenging opponent.Identity is usually connected with the place to which it belongs, even if it is a “barren, dry desert” as is the case in the story.  Yet one may have to move to another place for some reasons.  Such displacement may cause mental and psychological consequences that, in turn, affect one’s work.  In the story, the teacher is not in a mood that helps him to teach; he is pulled “toward the place . . .” from which “a long distance . . . (Note 2) separates him.”  What is left for him are “his thoughts and memories” that connect him with his place.  At the end of the story, the memo given to him symbolizes a new hope to restore what he has lost in the hijra (Note 3) school. Like other protagonists in this collection who are trying to make a living, this protagonist sacrifices everything, including peace of mind, so as to “make his living and his family’s living.”  He struggles for survival in a changing society.  Adaptation and change that become part of life are inevitable.  The main character is sent to the hijra, a small isolated village, in order to take part in its educational change.  On the other hand, the story illustrates the effects of the society on a newcomer; in a rural community, “he becomes an uncouth person” like other people in that hijra.  He is ready to do anything to get money.In a poor but changing society, money becomes the chief concern; even emotions become commodities exchanged for money: the protagonist “is in this exile . . . in order to exchange his tears, his sighs, his sadness and his troubles for money.” The story also illustrates the importance of having a job and how difficult it is to find a good job in one’s own area (Note 4). Finally, reading a story like this one will open the way for the readers of this popular journal a chance to know about this writer and may lead to searching for something related and/or written by the original writer whether in translation or the source language if the reader knows Arabic.

Keywords: Khalil Al-Fuzai, Saudi, short story, “Elapsing Days”

DOI: 10.7176/RHSS/10-4-03

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5766 ISSN (Online)2225-0484

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