Between (I want to see God) the first collection of stories published in the history of Saudi creativity in 1946 AD by the late Ahmed Abdul Ghafour Attar, and the last collection that may now be sold in printing presses, a lot of water flowed in the valleys, deserts and mountains. Hundreds of clips, hundreds of groups, various trends and artistic currents, stability and fluctuations, waves and paths, striking titles, hot as bread stories, and others cold and lukewarm. But what is certain is that (Between Bread and Silence) and (The Story Begins Like This) and (Damasah) (Wahatif) all the way to (Banana Raida) his last work (under publication), Muhammad Ali Alwan – may God have mercy on him – remains a milestone in the history of the modern Saudi narrative. (The short story) specifically, which has been illuminating its spaciousness for half a century.
In Banana Raida, his last work, Alwan looked as if he had left a place that was full of features he no longer saw and had left early!! But it did not depart from the ends of his soul, so he kept letting go of it while telling us that (the story begins like this) and that (between bread and silence) there is a distance of fatigue, dancing, hats, yearning, greenery, and fields overflowing with singing, at times groaning and at times wrathful with regret, and at times flying as high as a (telephone) from the sky. Alwan’s narrative and journalistic experience is a bright part of the experience of an entire generation, who lived through the harbingers of the dream of the expected homeland, which is ripe for decisive transformations in values, patterns of thinking, and ways of living.
As it is the generation that picked up the first flame of modernity, and received it from the time of Al-Awwad, Al-Jasser, Abdul-Jabbar and their companions, through a generation that can be called (the generation of Qantara) (Abdullah Al-Jafri, Abdullah Nour, Mishaal Al-Sudairi, Abdullah Al-Majid).
When we recall the transformations of the story in Saudi Arabia, the end of the sixties AD, and the beginnings of the emergence of the modern text, represented by many names, led by Muhammad Alwan, who preceded them by issuing his first collection in 1977 (Between Bread and Silence), which represented the forefront of the modern story that was artistically mature and visionary in Saudi Arabia, and surprised The owner of (Qandil Umm Hashem) Yahya Haqi is one of the pioneers of the Arabic story, so he found no choice but to write its introduction, a herald, and an addition to the Arab scene as a storyteller (he does not compose a story to trolling a subject or boasting about the ingenuity of telling an entertaining story, or enjoying the ability to imagine and remains concerned about the chronological or anatomical arrangement For the members of the story, but rather to vent concerns that fill his soul and gnaw at him until his soul almost passes away, and with the disclosure of a deceitful innocence because the disease is chronic and overwhelming, he did not intend to arrange, so in the end he was rewarded by voluntarily giving him a plot that establishes his story in an integrated structure).
Haqqi found in the stories of that group a model for his vision and ideas about the modern story, and he began to narrate them with beauty and depth, which can be considered a way to theorize at a high level in the art of the story that Haqqi said, and all the credit here is for Alwan’s creativity in that group.
Today, the Saudi creative arena bid farewell to a creator who began his journey with creativity in the seventies of the last century, connected to the sixties inside the village robe. The village that remained before his eyes, with the vision of an artist capturing the unfading moons and dark corners in which beauty resides, and only the eye of an artist who excelled in transforming the story into a monologue, instead of the loyal vision of life and the things around him, an artist whose occupational preoccupations did not deter him from approaching Creativity is inside him, and his accumulation is within him, so that he pours out writing and publications after retirement, continuing to absorb the nectar of creativity in his departure .. until the last drop we sipped in (Banana Raidah) .. to put a point at the end of the line of life .. and proceed to his innocence.
* Muhammad Ali Alwan
Storyteller and writer
Born in Abha 1950
Bachelor’s degree in Arabic literature from the Faculty of Arts, King Saud University.
He worked in the Ministry of Information since his graduation in 1394 AH.
Worked as Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Information for Internal Information Affairs from July 2005 AD (Jumada II 1426 AH).
Supervise the cultural pages in Saudi newspapers and magazines (Riyadh, Al-Jazeera, Al-Yamama)
From his publications:
(bread and silence)
(the story starts like this)
(for home memory)