Storm Over the Islands

Ahmed Menour

Mustapha bin Saeed is seconded to teach Natural Sciences on the Comoros Islands and finds himself in a teaching faculty akin to a micro-United Nations, with teachers from Arab countries, Europe, Africa and America. This diversity is reflected in the syllabus and variously impacts the teachers’ relationships with students and society. Mustapha enjoys a cordial relationship with his students, and there is mutual respect; however, his approach to teaching comes into conflict with some of the local beliefs and taboos. He also falls foul of the regime, which recruits secondary school pupils for its cause. His own students begin to write reports on him, claiming that his lessons are interfering in the internal affairs of the country and messing with their minds. Meanwhile, the country’s ruler – who seized power in a military coup d’état – is paranoid about being ousted in a similar coup by the same European mercenaries who helped him seize power. Indeed, his fears are soon realised and he is killed. Mustapha meanwhile pays the penalty for writing about the mercenaries leader Bob Denard in the French press and is exiled. Storm Over the Islands is one of the first Arabic novels to deal with the society, culture and environment of the Comoros islands.         


Dar al-Tanweer Algeria


2024 Longlist