The Idols

Amin Zaoui

The Idols portrays the loving relationship between two brothers. The younger brother, Humaymid, fiercely defends his older sibling Mahdi, a fragile young man who is assassinated in mysterious circumstances by an Islamic terrorist group in Algiers University. A religious charity working with the terrorist group moves his body by night to the “city of the idols” (now known as Chlef) and it is buried under the rubble of buildings destroyed by an earthquake. Everyone therefore believes that he has been killed by the earthquake, like thousands of the city’s inhabitants; all except Humaymid, who begins a long journey in search of the group responsible for killing his brother, following their leader to Afghanistan to take his revenge. At its heart, the novel is a philosophical inversion of the story of Cain and Abel, where the blood of Abel is shed by his brother Cain, playing out against the backdrop of political and religious violence in 1980s Algeria. 


Editions Daliman Algeria


2024 Longlist