Hisham Matar: A Summary

909 Words 4 Pages
Hisham Matar articulates the story of a young man Suleiman who was growing up in Libya under the regime of Colonel Qaddafi. Suleiman, nine-year-old, is the only son in the family and his father does international business. Suleiman is a friend to Kareem whose father is their neighbor accused of being a traitor. Trouble starts when Suleiman’s father Faraj is accused of secretly being a leader in a movement that is rebelling against the government. In this novel, boundaries are drawn between good and evil, guilt and innocence, personal loss and collective tragedy and between truth and betrayal.
The novel is set in Libya during the oppressive regime of Qaddafi and the manifestation of good and evil comes out in the relationships between the main
…show more content…
Suleiman is a character who can be trusted with her mother’s secrets. Even though he knows his mother’s secrets, he cannot mention them to his friends, and especially Moosa, who cannot keep his mouth shut. In one of the conversations with Suleiman, Najwa warns him not to speak about the secrets. “I didn't want to break my promise -the promise she always forced me to give, sometimes over thirty times in one night, not to tell, to swear on her life, again and again, and then be warned.” (Matar, 2007, pg .2). In this conversation at the restaurant, Suleiman shows his loyalty to her mother because of the good relationship that they have cultivated. In exercising his loyalty to his mother Suleiman seems to be hiding the truth from his father and any other person who is supposed to know. Najwa is very bold in terms of her character because she emphasizes that she cannot betray her husband no matter what happens.
In conclusion, in the country of men’ is an insightful novel about a young man living in Libya during the time of oppressions. There are relationships within the family and outside with neighbors. Loyalty and betrayal come out between the characters as the story unfolds. The novel also brings about ethics regarding evil may persist in the society before good wins. Executions of bold people who speak about injustice in the society is part of the evil strategies used by oppressive regimes to

Related Documents