The Transformations

Maan Abu Taleb  |  The AFAC Novel Writing Program  |  2014  |  Jordan
There are football and basketball players, judo, karate, taekwondo practitioners, as well as shot-put athletes and other athletics competitors, but there is not one boxer. “Boxer” is a noun that fully describes the person it refers to. We see it in his swollen ears, hidden chin, thick neck, crooked nose and alert eyes. We also see it in his few and calculated moves, his long silence that creates gossips and shows, his deep solitude and instinctive knowledge of the impasse that we are all experiencing. In this novel we see Sa’ed Habjouka becoming a boxer. This transformation may or may not be completed for many interrelated reasons. In both cases, Sa’ed must clearly trace the contours of his new persona and fills the voids in it. This novel addresses the concept of violence and raises the issue of whether violence is or is not an integral part of human nature. It also tackles the relationship between organized violence that is tolerated within certain limits and laws and random violence which could erupt anywhere at any moment, threatening Sa’ed, his family and his city.