Turning Into Ghosts2007
Okay so let me start with the critique. For starters... I found this wonderful. Not only is Pakistan a neighbor of Iraq, we share a lot of emotions with the Iraqis, whether they know of it or not. The different references of either Saddam or perhaps the perception of Iraqi's gives me the same impression as Muslims in general, and specifically of Pakistan are being targeted. The reference to Hazrat Imam Hussain was also something I don't usually see in works. Then the way the children are brought up with allies and enemies defined is also relatable. Having stated these random things that might have personally contributed to my likeness of the work, I shall now move on wards.
The start felt slightly wavering to me. It wasn't boring, yet it didn't urge me to read on more. This is until the first paragraph. A calm and patient reader won't turn away though, it is not like that. Just not as griping.
However from the second para on wards, the description is beautiful and the way you have given the state of mind of the narrator over this old land of his and how he does not wish to see the remains of what was once his homeland is not only griping, it starts evoking emotions. Till the part he manages to distinguish the neighborhood, well my heart skipped a beat alongside.
The river into a pipe might (as I see) be a good or bad moment depending on the reader. Countries like my own have seen such developments and stranger things as well but I wonder if it might look absurd to perhaps European readers or Americans. Just a thought. It worked for me though.
Now I liked the ending para's that described your life from your childhood to you growing and what happened... but the impact is SLIGHTLY lessened when your brother became the youth leader. That seems cliched. Had he been a strong follower, it would have seemed like the story of a general citizen. Which I think it is intended as.
Also, just a thought, I think that after the story, you should add a concluding line in which it is as if, you are standing there in present (have told your story) and are still... perhaps unable to decide whether you should laugh or cry... meaning that the ending revolved around 1990 and ended within the story. I think that the work, since it started from the narrator, it should end with him as well.
Other than that... the story line was quite clear. No problem there.
I did not dislike a line perhaps but I did not see any relevance to the statement of him having his wife here. Unless she is discussed further, it was a strange filler. What I liked is the ending discussion of the 1990's or if I were to state a single line:
"This time though, through my story, let it not only serve as proof but also a voice, a candle, and a memorable tune to be carried with the arid, Arabian winds for each of our (the people of Iraq) sake.
While there are perhaps other instances of escalating emotions, the description here was well handled.
Yes, there was a major impact starting from perhaps the middle of the work on wards. Strangely, it is as if I have known these feelings without having actually experienced them. But I guess that happens a lot.
So over all a wonderful work in my opinion! Only the wife line, and an additional concluding line would sum any improvements I have to offer.
Thank you so very kindly for such a humbling critique! I'll be sure to review all your pointers and edit as soon as possible! Thank you again, dear heart!