Jordan under fire for banning the Mira novel

Published November 29th, 2022 - 12:46 GMT

ALBAWABA - Trending for its provocative narrative style is Mira, a novel written in Arabic by Jordanian author Qassem Tawfiq. Everyone who reads books is writing about the novel and its latest removal from the shelves in Jordan. 

What's the story? The novel, essentially examining the relations between love and extremism in Amman and Novi Sad in the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s was written three years ago and the Ministry of Culture in Amman has commissioned it as part of its program to encourage reading in Jordan, especially among young people.


But the narrative is not convincing for one calls the novel as distorted by "poison", strong language indeed:

However, and recently adults who looked at the novel in the nominal sales distribution points have expressed their anger at what Mira contained in terms of the bad language as being not at all appropriate to encourage young people to read.

Head of the family so-called "Family Library Project" in the ministry Dr Ahmad Rashed was quoted as saying they later realized there were expressions used in the novel that some people found unacceptable. He added that because of this, the ministry withdrew copies of the novel in the distribution points specific to the family library project. 

Many on the social media said the novel had indecent expressions and wondered how the ministry can sanction such a narrative without proper supervision. The row has reached Jordan's Lower House of Parliament were deputies have also expressed their anger at the novel.

Deputy Yanal Friehat said the novel is a scandal and a catastrophic shock to Jordan society, containing indecent terms for public modesty and an invitation to pornography in words whilst calling for the resignation of the Minister of Culture Haifa al-Najjar. 

He is seconded by Lower House deputy Imad Al Adwan who is calling for the resignation of the Culture Minister. 

In his defence the novelist Qassem Tawfiq is a well-known writer in Jordan and the Arab world, a former literary prize winner and has 20 novels and academic works. 


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