Tayeb Salih is one of the Arab world’s most prized novelists, whose preeminence stemmed from his ability to write characters torn between East and West, often drawing from his own experience of living abroad most of his life.
He was born in the Northern Sudanese town of Kurmakol to a family of small farmers and religious teachers. Much of his writing deals with the complex relationships within a communal village setting. He went on to work for the BBC’s Arabic Service and later became Director General for the Ministry of Information in Doha, Qatar while also contributing to a London based Arabic publication, Al-Majalla.
His works reflected a search for identity as an Arab/African, particularly within a post-colonial context, during an era that was witnessing a rise of nationalism throughout North Africa and the Middle East. His masterpiece, “Season of Migration to the North” (1966), dealt with a clash of civilizations. His other notable works include, “The Cypriot Man” and “The Wedding of Zein”, made into a film in 1976 by Kuwaiti Director Khalid Al Siddiq.
Mr. Salih wrote “A Handful of Dates” in 1957. It was published in 1964 by the Arabic literary journal Al Hiwar among a collection of short stories entitled, “The Wedding of Zein and other stories”.
This Film (A Handful of Dates) is based on the Original Arabic Text.
A Handful of Dates is set in a mythical Northern Sudanese village between the desert and the Nile. A Narrator, Meheimeed, reminisces about an idyllic childhood enjoying the river and fruits of the fertile land. The only thing greater than his love for village life is the deep reverence for his grandfather, Hajj Ahmad, a highly respected elder and prominent landowner in the village. But the boy’s precious world begins to unravel when he learns the painful truth behind his beloved grandfather’s fortune…Find more information here!