Mohammad Jameel Khader
Translated by Saja Bakir
Having received an invitation from the Media, Public and Cultural Relation Unit, the writer Sahar Malas met with the creative students of the Model School “Al Namothajieh”, the day before yesterday. They discussed the meaning of creative writing, its importance and its fields.
Malas, who wrapped up the discussion by reading her story “The Price”, asked the students who were attending:” what is the most beautiful thing in life?”
For this question, the students had varied responses, such as: family, homeland, friendship, justice, freedom, obedience and worship.
As a response to her question of whether they like better a sociable or a secluded person, the students agreed that the sociable person who connects with others is better. That was during the meeting where she was presented by the storyteller ( Ramzi Al Ghazawi) and the principle of the school (Dr. Ali Bani Ahmad) attended too. Some other students said that empathizing with others is considered the most important message a writer can adopt.
Many various topics were discussed during the meeting. From the dream of each of the students, the methods followed to achieve it, to defending others and adopting their cases. There were also the integration between people in life, the lessons learnt from the holy Koran and how the writer’s scientific major in (Pharmacy and the Science of herbs) has influenced her creative writing in both the field of short story and novel. The students showed a lot of interaction with the way Malas mentored the discussion. She moved between them and directed her speech to each one of them. Therefore, they felt how much she cares for them, and how she aims at delivering her ideas concerning the importance of reading, creative writing and communicating with the ones engaged with it for adversity and variation.
Malas, who published 14 creative works and 5 other ones related to her academic field, read during the meeting “The Price”; her story which tackles a humanitarian topic. It is the story of a soldier who works for the Peacekeeping forces. As he was inspecting one of the afflicted villages by the war and distributing a few amounts of food for its inhabitants, he was surprised to find a sign placed on an Oak tree in front of a house situated on top of a hill. The sign said: “Everything is for sale”. He enters the house to find an old woman who because of the war, has decided to sell everything she owned except for a statue that was a gift from her absent son. He continues on negotiating with her and raising the price until she accepts his tempting offer: “He extended his hand and gave her the money. She held the money in her hand and felt it as he collected his things and walked towards the door to leave. As soon as he reached the door step, he was hit by the sunlight which was falling directly on a naked Fig tree… he turned towards the old woman who was still holding the money… her eyes were tearful… he glared at her face and saw the image of her mother…. So he took some steps back to her; he knelt in front of her, placed the statue on her lap and kissed her head. He then walked away without answering her calling for him to come and take back his money.