Saturday, March 5, 2011

The island of prince “Khalis"

A story written by: Ali Taha Al Nobani
 Translated by: Fateh Kassab
© 2011 by THE BIRD(

When his boss informed him that the wages of three days will be deducted from his salary, he smiled carelessly, he didn’t say a word, didn’t talk about the bus he takes – which tours the whole city before he reaches his job, and he didn’t talk about the wedding hall near his house which annoys him and prevents him from sleeping till the end of the night.

And for sure he didn’t mention his empty pocket that he couldn’t pay for the bus ticket.

“When I go to my island… I will get rid of this chaos and the countless injustices”.

When a man once complained claiming that 'the prince' insulted his father and his clan, he wasn’t much defensive, he just said 'liar'.

“In my island there will not be such liars, I will jump from a tree to an other like Tarzan and howl like a wolf, I will sit on the top of a mountain if I want to overlook the distant horizon, and resort to a dark cave if I feel helpless against the dusk and the fog of the sea “.

She said: “let go of freedom, you expose your self to more constrain for it! Those who make chains and handcuffs introduce it to you and build the walls of your prison, why don’t you feel satisfied with what god gave you and stop stripping their thoughts which they paid their lives for, so as to beautify them for you and the others”.

He replied:” the equation is really difficult and has many variables, but silence will not solve it any way, we must move forward even if it was to a bigger maze, and we must dream to have our salvation”.

He added:” In my island only seagulls are allowed to fly in the sky, and together we will sip the breeze of the evening and chew the fruit of ecstasy, I will cover my genitalia with leaves and rise with the sun like the lilies of life “.

Three: is an ominous number.

Five: is an affectionate circle.

Two: what a beautiful number is it!

I must win this time … and when it happens no one will take me away from my dream.

He took a money bill and gave it to the lottery man.

Hah … that’s it … 67242

Oh sir: this is the number, I am sure you will win the grand prize and you will tip me “said the Egyptian lottery man.

“Can’t you see that you complicate things: action… action, what action are you talking about? Your father's action led him to name you "prince" to be a dreamy and romantic prince, but your action made your friends call you Khalis (lunatic) just for your profound obsession in what was and what should be, which will make you a legend of hallucination and dreams, so stop "prince khalis". A sip of the merchants' and brokers' coffee might return you your mind from wonder land”.

He said:” it’s enough for me that my blood is pleased with my veins , my brain is pleased with my skull and my hand is pleased with my arm .

Although I didn’t carry a gun to fight the tyrants, I didn’t repeat their despicable wisdom nor supported their disastrous depravities”.

I said repeatedly it is not possible to communicate within the boundaries of a language imposed by a sectarian or asocial class; we must give things their real names in order to understand what we say to build clear ideas that lead to concrete results.

His friends burst in laughter.

-you are really khalis (lunatic).

- You are making a mistake, prince khalis.

The prince laughed showing carelessness and at the same time concealing deep cries.

Never mind, how will we practice our humanity if we listen to each other like the hunter who’s waiting for a pray to kill.

How will we experience happiness if it means thousands of skulls?

May god forgive you khalis, why do you use philosophy in a political session of the party in spite of your knowledge that we know nothing but politics.

Don’t you know comrades that politics without philosophy becomes prostitution?

She said: “that is how you left the parties in which you spilled your blood. Look well where you are now and where are those whom you described one day as narrow minded?

“In my island, life will be completely integrated, I will not allow any one to monopolize things and I will not…”

She interrupted:” to do this you will need thousands of soldiers to punish those who break the law and in return they- in spite of your well- will re-define things and they will do what you had forbidden them to do. And eventually you will find yourself in a circle … what will you do then?

Khalis was walking in a crowded street wearing a shabby shirt with one sleeve only, on his head there was a hat which lost its red colour by the passage of days and turned into indistinct orange.

He was weaving his hands repeating “what am I going to do? Freedom … soldiers … my island … the party … “

A black luxurious car stopped and a man with a black suit opened one of its windows and showed up: you are prince khalis … could that be?!

- Yes?

-Do you remember me?

- No.

- Did you forget when we were in the party?

- Well “he took a closer look “Oh, yes you are the one who knew politics but not philosophy?

- Yes, and you are the one who ended up in an island in the middle of the street.

Some one came from distance: welcome your excellence, while khalis squatted at the edge of "the island" in the middle of the street.

* “Khalis” is a Jordanian slang for lunatic. 


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