Al-Sadiq Haj Ahmed
Drought tackles a new subject in the Arabic novel: the fate of the Tuareg, who fled their lands after the 1973 drought which hit the Sahara in the north of Mali, and headed towards southern Algeria and Libya, settling in refugee camps there. From 1980, they were used by Gaddafi in wars in Chad and Lebanon in exchange for a promise of an independent Azawan state in northern Mali. Having endured conflict and imprisonment in camps in Chad, they gave up hope that Gaddafi would fulfil his promise, and began a series of revolts against the regimes in Mali and Niger. The novel’s narrator is one of the refugees, who has recorded his story and that of his son on a badly stained manuscript found in a box. It covers the major political and social developments which occurred in the region in the forty years before the fall of Gaddafi in 2011.