Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Nameless Land
by Abou Fakhr, Sami, M.F.A., Northern Arizona University, 2020, 229; 28256565
Abstract (Summary)

This novel, The Nameless Land, works to highlight the activists, marginalized, and minorities that have succumbed to the deadly system of the corrupt elite and resort to revolutionary tactics and violence to take down the system. The story is set in the fictional territories of Aurum, Opus, and the Nameless Land, which creates a strict, discriminatory, sectarian system as the core of Aurum’s laws. My inspiration comes from real-life experience during the Lebanese revolution that started on October 17th, 2019.

Aurum is the perfect description of Lebanon’s corrupt government with nepotism, power, and theft being the underlying qualities a politician needs to thrive and become wealthy. Lebanon has faced thirty years of the same politicians stealing electricity, selling donations for their own gains, diverting public funds to their own bank accounts, and risking the lives of their own citizens. The corrupt ministers in this book were modelled after the politicians and certain events were pulled from the protests on the streets of Beirut.

This has been a long-running project since my very first semester at NAU, which started as a short story in 2016, and there is still so much potential to expand it in many ways. Being an international student, this program was my reason for leaving home. My goal was to put myself in an environment where I had no experience, no friends, and no one by my side in the very beginning. Of course, that changed when I met all my professors and classmates. I believe my character, Keyani Canmore, is the fictional creation of my experiences. My entire MFA revolved around this story and, learning more about writing for activism that I plan on taking back with me to Beirut, in hopes of creating some real change from the acceptance of LGBTQIA+ related literature in university curriculums, the implementation of a “write as you are” literature magazine, and, most importantly, inspire people to fight hard against corrupt systems.

This novel fits into the Young Adult genre, specifically categorized as dystopian fiction. I have pulled inspiration from similar subjects such as The Hunger Games, The Red Queen, and The City of Brass. The authors S.A. Chakraborty, Suzanne Collins, and Victoria Aveyard have thoroughly motivated me to follow this genre. Their books combine corrupt systems with revolutionaries that shift the dynamics of entire regions. I would also add Snowpiercer, based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette. This is the voice I felt most at home with because it always links back to my time protesting in the streets, knocking back teargas canisters, and running from the police who wanted to arrest peaceful protesters.

I imagine my novels are more cinematic with my descriptions and giving background details only if it comes naturally or through dialogue. My tone and writing style in this are focused on that, showing the readers the world through Keyani Canmore’s eyes and trying to make it seem like a movie through words.

I have been dreaming big with what I intend to accomplish with this project. My novel does not end with this thesis. I plan on honing the story, expanding it where it needs to be expanded, and take as much time as possible for me to perfect it. I am hoping to find an agent that deals with this genre and publish the book to a wide audience. This subject has been part of my life, since I was born. It has become a part of my personality and is shaping my decisions to come in the future, which is one of the many reasons I hold this story in such high regard. I want this story out there as the entire world is starting to wake up to corrupt governments and systemic racism.

Now is the perfect time to write about revolutionaries.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Johnson, Chelsey
Commitee: Thompson, K.T., Cummins, Ann
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 82/6(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Creative writing, Asian Studies, Comparative literature, Rhetoric, Ethnic studies, Higher education, International Relations, Curriculum development, Political science, Sociology
Keywords: Dystopian, Fiction, Novel, Young adult, The Nameless Land, Activists, Marginalization, Minorities, Corrupt elite, Revolutionary tactics, Lebanon , Lebanese revolution , Beirut
Publication Number: 28256565
ISBN: 9798557010016
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