Translating Al-Fuzai’s ‘A Turning Point’

Gassim H. Dohal


In ‘A Turning Point’1, due to the fact that he is the family’s oldest male, the nameless protagonist is responsible for his mother and brother. Traditionally speaking, an eldest son should assume his father’s financial duties following his father’s death, as in this narrative. Khalil I. Al-Fuzai, as a writer, examines this topic through the eyes of this character: “all his life is a waste... and all his days are uninteresting.” All he is doing is for others. Such a life influences the protagonist’s belief and understanding of life and its meaning. For him, it is the society which can assign and decide your role and action in life and as an individual one has no option or even choice but to carry out his/her social role. Hence, the main character of this story finds that such a life is “a waste”. In an attempt to save a child, the protagonist dives into the ocean before the boy drowns in the sea. He regains faith in the significance of his existence as a result of this activity. The seawater he swims in provides him a new perspective on and knowledge of his existence. Accordingly, to do anything out of one’s choice may help the person in question to overcome some social obstacles and understand the meaning of life as it is the case in this story. The protagonist emerges from the ocean with a new identity; he turns out to be a person of confidence, courage, personality, and knowledge. Finally, reading a narrative like this one will allow the reader a chance to discover more about the author and may lead to a search for similar stories written about the same culture. Educationally speaking, this story demonstrates how a single act may transform a person and bestow glory upon him. It does restore some of confidence, which one requires in order to continue his/her steady progress through society.


Khalil Al-Fuzai, Short Story, Saudi, ‘A Turning Point’

Full Text:



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