"Al-Mahjooz" and "Zendani"

Iraqi writer Salam Al-Quraini releases dual-titled short novel

KARBALA, January 2 — Iraqi writer Salam Al-Quraini has published a short novel with a dual title, “Al-Mahjooz” in Arabic and “Zendani” in Persian,  addressing the suffering experienced by an Iraqi individual living in both Iraq and Iran.

Published by the Union of Iraqi Writers and Authors, “Zendani” has 13 chapters across 102 pages. Prior to this, Al-Quraini released a book of articles by the late Arabic language scholar, Dr. Hashim Al-Ta’an.

Salam Al-Quraini shared:

The novel ‘Al-Mahjooz’ talks about a young man who refuses to participate in the Iraq-Iran War. At the same time, he faces harassment from the oppressive regime due to his opposition. This young man enters the war and surrenders himself to Iranian forces, but they consider him a captive, leading to over 12 years spent in captivity.

The dual title signifies that the ‘captive’ linguistically suffered harm and non-compliance with international treaties in both countries. This work serves as a representation for thousands of Iraqis who experienced captivity, often hearing the word ‘Zendani’ frequently.

I will not repeat the experience of writing a novel again because novel-writing is a challenging and distressing endeavor. I will continue as a short story writer, and that’s enough.

Notable works by Al-Quraini include:

“For Women: Tales” (2007)
“In My Memory: Articles” (2010)
“Predation” (2016)
“The Predator” (2018)
“Coming to Light” (2020)
“Jabal Al-Nuban: Tales” (2022)
“A Woman of Embers” (2023)