This article is also available in: Italiano
“The Discovery of America by the Turks” by Jorge Amado is a novel as short as it is successful that will allow you to discover the Arab migration to Brazil with joy and lightheartedness
The Discovery of America by the Turks
In truth, America, Jorge Amado suggests in this smiling short novel, was not discovered by Christopher Columbus. Nor by the Vikings. In reality, in daily experience, the New World has been discovered by the millions of emigrants who landed in those distant shores: very often in search of happiness, to give substance to their hopes, to escape an old world that has become too narrow. So here they are, Jamil Bichara and Raduan Murad, two Turks who are not Turks at all, arrive at the Bahia of All Saints at the dawn of this century.
Amado and the Arabs
“The Discovery of America by the Turks” is a delightful short novel that will allow you to discover more closely what was the Arab migration (especially Lebanese and Syrian) in the largest state of South America. The post-faction is very interesting, which will allow us to discover something more about Amado’s love for the Arabs and for Brazil. In fact, the great Portuguese-speaking author not only never hid his curiosity and affection for this population, but rather, he reminds us that in his “Gabriela, Clove and Cinnamon ” the protagonist is Necib, a Brazilian Arab like Jamil Bichara and Raduan Murad, main figures of “The Discovery of America by the Turks “; moreover also in his immense “Showdown ” there are several characters originating from Syria and Lebanon. Furthermore, again in the afterword, we will discover the origin of this text, very particular and useful to remind us of a very important and often overlooked detail: the adventure of Christopher Columbus is not universally appreciated as is believed, for example, in Italy.
In fact, Jorge Amado wrote this short novel while he was traveling to Europe to participate in an event for the 500th anniversary of the “discovery” of America and, precisely because of the problem set out above, he chose to write a text that did not celebrated both the “conquistadors”, but poor men in search of fortune, in this case Arabs.
The Taming of the Shrew in Bahia
Coming to the novel itself, the plot is very simple yet tasty, able to bring taste and a spontaneous smile to the reader, making him spend a few hours of pure lightness and joy. Once in Bahia, the paths of the two protagonists will divide, with Jamil who will go to work in the fields, while Raduan will quickly become one of the most interesting personalities in the area, managing to forge a great friendship with one of the major local Arab landowners. The latter will then confide his problem to him: he has an incredibly ugly and sour daughter but incredibly well-versed in business who needs a husband and whoever marries her will inherit all the properties.
At this point, his old travel companion will return to Raduan, giving life to a long series of unexpected events between sex, good evenings and a lot of Brazilian carefree. Highly recommended book also for reading and spending times, a little gem that cannot be missed if you too have a passion for Arabs and Brazil.
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