Prestige issue 287-288, Dec. 2017-Jan. 2018
In his third book the building of dreams, «Mabna El-Ahlam», The writer Roy Harb joins marvelously philosophy, poems, illustrations and paintings. Scenes drawn from daily life, where the language is simple and the message precise, «Dare to dream!» is an invitation to dream, but also to read a book that leaves the reader intrigued. In an encounter with Prestige, the writer tells.
«There is no life without dreams»
Tell us about your book The building of dreams… Prefaced by minister Melhem Riachi, this book of 216 pages tells the story of Samir Choueifaty, a lawyer aged 50 years old, prisoner of his past. He never ceases to think about his first love, Olfat, who became Olga Rain, a Canadian renowned scenarist. While returning to her native country, Olfat launches her movie the Building of dreams about her love story. Samir has problems with his wife Noha, and lives his present in a dark loneliness, a loneliness in the multitude. He goes back to his native village, the city of his childhood and adolescent dreams where he finds Montaha, his neighbor who falls in love with him and his children Farid and Fadi, with whom she plays the role of mother that life deprived her from. He also meets the grand father Youssef, and Olfat who still loves him. What future for this couple? And the children? Will Montaha give in to her new love? Philosophy, poems, illustrations by Ihab Malaeb, paintings by the young 7 years old Serena Sfeir and mosaic by Joumana Wehbe El Daher in the cover are in harmony with this book, with scenes taken form the daily life, where the language is simple, the message precise: «Dare to dream!».
What distinguishes this book from your previous ones? With time, people change, become more mature and gain experience. The story of my life, published in 2011 at Dar Annahar, was the biography of a young man responsible of his mother and his two sisters when his father left the house to live with his mistress. My second book Nasamat el Hanin, illustrated by Sandra Clark, is poetic. Mabna El-Ahlam is characterized by the simple philosophical questions, the events, the characters and the importance ofthe actions. The idea of this book goes back to 2011, during a writing workshop with the Egyptian scenarist Mahmoud Dessouky. The intrigue was supposed to be developed in a series, but because there was no producer, it was transformed in a printed book.
Your book is illustrated with expressive pictures… What does it add to the book in your opinion? Since people read less nowadays, we need to find means to motivate people to read, to take a real printed book in hands, or even the electronic book. Mabna El-Ahlam will be featured as an e-book in 2018. I’m trying to make an animated gallery. Ihab Malaeb and Ribelle Azzi changed 9 scenes in magnificent illustrations. It’s if you are watching a movie. This is an added value to this book, and the reader will not get annoyed.
Why do you give an importance to dreams and feelings? Dreams and feelings are sublime human characteristics, without them life would be dull. Without them, there is no life. Even after death, we dream of an eternal life. My father told me «dare to dream», and I always dream. «The day you will leave this earth, dream of a more pacifist and splendid world, and you will find it», he said. I try to transmit this message to my readers.
What are the dreams you wish to realize? I would love to live in peace, hope and see my series the authoritarian, Al Moustabidda, directed this year and featured on TV. My most tender dream is to take my children in my arms.
Would you love to see your books adapted on TV? Yes of course. I don’t adopt the depictive style. I write my books as a series. I teach scenario writing. The famous Lebanese scenarist Chucri Anis Fakhoury said that Nasamat el Hanin could be adapted as a movie, and Ossit Omr as a TV series. Hopefully this dream will be realized.
If you were not an author, what would you have loved to be? A plastic surgeon. I love beauty! Interview Conducted by MIREILLE BRIDI BOUABJIAN