which is why the sun sets and you don’t know where it’s going to rise”.
In Karim and Nasim’s pharmacist father Nasri, we meet a man in decline, clinging to the memory of former glories and not averse to using his professional knowledge for nefarious purposes, whether concocting a miracle plant food sought by all or providing the ‘green potion’, a sort of magical Rohypnol that when drunk by female clients make him irresistible to them.
Through all the heroes and villains, fighters and lovers, militants, fundamentalists and ordinary people just trying to live, it is the tripartite of the father and two sons, ‘twins’ by dint of shared paternity and proximity of birth, that underpin this sweeping panoramic of a story. Each of their individual stories, false memories and active dissembling, bring stark truths into focus and while we are pre-
184 BANIPAL 53 – SUMMER 2015