'Daud the Arwadi, a successful trader in
his prime, has his world turned upside
down when the caravan carrying his
fortune is ambushed en route to Damascus.
Takla, a young serving girl in a convent,
encounters a mysterious stranger who sets
her life on a new course. And then there
is Shams, an old billy goat, who lives high
above Damascus on Mount Kassioun
with his flock of goats, who one day loses
his bell. Feeling a sudden sense of
wonderment, he leaps off the very top of
the mountain, and begins a journey into
the unknown such as no billy goat before
him had ever undertaken.
After many adventures and amorous
encounters with endearing female goats,
Shams dies, and his skin arrives at the
shop of Abu Kerim, a Damascene musician
and drum maker who immediately senses
that this skin is special. “The quality of a
drum depends on the animal it is made from.
Not all animals are dumb, you know,” he tells
his friends, “and the skin of an animal can
speak things you couldn’t imagine.”
And so begins a journey which takes Daud
from one end of Syria to the other and back
again, following the beat of a drum, following
his own fears and hopes, following love until
all is given up, and then returned, though not
at all as as he might have imagined.'
Review of the book here:
Gouache on Paper, 30 x 21cm