Rana Bohsali – 15 January 2017

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“Someone once said, “Lawyers, doctors, and engineers are taught their professions, but writers are born with it and their talents expand through teachings”.

Rami Ollaik is truly gifted.

If I were to compare Under the Green Waters to The Bees Road, I would say that UGW blew my mind away. The book consumed me in every way possible. I felt as though I am watching a movie, for the written words expressed explicit vivid images in my mind. I am a fan of picturesque, and this style of writing played out harmonically in every chapter. I felt the pain, the terror, the shock, the love, the lust, the hope! I felt as though I was there with the characters during their meetings at the office. I felt a part of the sea, a part of the hive, a part of the meetings with Sheikh, a part of Rami’s sanctuary place, a part of a world I never met before. It’s been a while since the last time I read a book that transported me to another world, to its world, so I am rather grateful that Rami Ollaik granted me this opportunity.

As I was ignorant to many facts during my journey in The Bees Road, I faced the same issue here, but on a wider scope. I was never into politics, I never understood how they function here, and my parents do not even bother themselves with them. Even whilst reading, while being given a lot of information and a lot of historical background, I fail to understand my Lebanon and its politics. However, I can say that they are all useless and they’re all pulling the strings of the citizens for their own entertainment. I know of the famous “May 7” incident, I know it only as a date, not the details. Whilst reading about the gunmen and checkpoints and the shootings, it was as though watching it on TV. At some point, I felt nauseous, but I enjoyed it because it reminded me of the fact that it was written in such a detailed manner. I know of Hariri and the series of assassinations that followed, but why did they pay the price for not wanting a Syrian domination? Sometimes I wonder if Lebanon needs a dictator, would it help? If someone controlled it all, excluded all the foreign involvements, abolishes all the parties, and just called all the shots, would it be better?

The most anticipating thing would be the Italic parts, those that were about the bee, or about the green waters. I yearned to reach the end of a chapter, just to read the beautiful italicized metaphors. It disappointed me when I didn’t find anything. Green waters, is it money? Is it greed? Waters are transparent, clear, blue, beautiful. Waters, as I pondered, represent pure citizens, or a nation based on transparency. Once divided, once parties grew greedy, the waters/nation turned green. Each party wants to control a place, bribe people with money, fight other parties even though they’re all citizens of the same nation. I do not know why I thought of it that way, maybe I am too fed up of the nation’s division, especially after reading the book. Manar TV embraces its martyrs, it has an entire section for them, and honestly, I find it stupid and disrespectful. Whenever I flip through the channels and see them displaying martyrs, but how do they have the heart in them to lead young adults into a path that Rami has bluntly displayed with its horrifying truths? How do they brainwash them and preach of martyrdom, and manage to plant a bomb and kill someone?!!!!!

UGW carried it with much anticipation and suspense. Not knowing what to expect, not knowing who the character is at the beginning, not knowing made me feel a bit edgy. It consumed me trying to read faster and get to the bottom of things.

UGW also, in a weird way, made me fall in love with my country. The beautiful descriptions of Beirut and other places.

Through it all, I saw the baby in Rami. The kind-hearted, devoted, loving citizen. The hardships he went through never seemed to harden his heart. He still saw the good in everyone and everything. More people should be like him, maybe then people would start joining hands and create a better nation.”

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