Cover Story

A soulful story

July 4 - July 10, 2024
Gulf Weekly A soulful story
Gulf Weekly A soulful story
Gulf Weekly A soulful story

Gulf Weekly  Melissa Nazareth
By Melissa Nazareth

BAHRAINI author Rasool Darweesh has released his book Soul of The King, the English translation of his Arabic novel Rouh Al Malik, which he wrote after his deceased mother appeared to him in a dream.

Rouh Al Malik hit the shelves two years ago and spurred on by readers’ positive response the author decided to release the English version. While the idea for the novel came to Rasool much earlier, it wasn’t until November 2017 that he started writing the book.

“After I had the idea, I read various books on the topic but even after long-term preparation, I couldn’t write the novel, and I walked away from it,” Rasool, 51, told GulfWeekly.

But fate had other plans and Rasool was encouraged to revisit his story.

“On November 29, 2017 at around 2.45 pm, my deceased mother came to me in a dream, asked me to open my right hand, and put the names of the characters in it. She asked to open my left hand and put the names of the places. Then, she told me the introduction to the novel, which I wrote exactly as she said. Finally, she asked me to write the novel, and she promised to visit me again once I completed it. I finished the mission in six months and published the novel in Arabic and now, translated it into English. I’ve been waiting for my mother to visit me again… she hasn’t returned yet,” he added.

The 274-page translation brings alive Rasool’s conversation with his mother after the death of his father. The author vows to discover the truth about his father’s demise through ‘the recollection of real events and the extortion of souls’. In the book, bodies and souls narrate the same events through two parallel perspectives.

An excerpt of the book reads:

‘At this moment, I felt the joy and freedom of the world of eternity. And while Azrael still held me for his grooves, I asked him: “Where to?”

“To where you were before you chose the king’s body, a fetus in his mother’s womb.”

“It is ages, I have forgotten.’

Rasool’s curiosity about the soul and afterlife led him to the
 idea of the book.
“Everything that happens can be perceived by our five senses, but the soul does not use the five senses of the body and is not limited to a place or time. So, I decided that the book would be narrated by one of the characters, and by the soul of the king as well, recounting the same events through man’s soul and body,” he revealed.

Rasool, a graduate of Bahrain University with a specialisation in literature, began his writing journey in 2009 and published his first novel three years later. So far he has written nine novels in Arabic, a couple of which have been translated into English by him and some others by literary experts.

Al Dayihah 69, which follows one woman’s life steeped in tragedy and at the same time a celebration of the renewed role of women in society, won the Ibn Al Muqarrab Award in Saudi Arabia. Victim 69, the English translation of the book, is also available. Rasool’s other past works include Dilmunia, and Al Hajer Al Aswad – Arabic for ‘the black stone’. Earlier this year, he released Awalia about the British rule in Bahrain, and is set for his Arabic translation of British-Polish author Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness – Qalb Al Dhalam – to hit the shelves in January next year.

Rasool’s books are available on various platforms including Amazon and at Jashanmal bookstore.

For more details, visit @rasool_darweesh on Instagram.

More on Cover Story