Ahmad Khawaja – Defeated Triumph

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Ahmad Khawaja was born 1938 in a small village called Al-Sarafand an Arab village near the Mediterranean shore south of Liwa.

His mother Rebecca was a Canadian volunteer nurse met his father who was then a soldier. When Ahmad turned four his mother decided to take him to Canada leaving his father behind. Since her mother got sick and unable to work, Ahmad focused on ways how he could send himself to school while trying to make a living for himself and his mother. He managed to sustain his scholarship and in 1956 he eventually graduated from college. He has totally forgotten about his father and didn’t even make any effort in finding him. He has a very strong resentment inside about his father that he never once asked his mother about him. He worked as a messenger in J & J Publishing Company who was the same Company who gave him his first break as a writer. In 1963, he opened his own Safarand Publishing and later that year he won his very first International Book Critics Award for his Novel – The Lost Providence. The succeeding year, he won his first Novel Prize for his book Weekends in Al-Safaland. Before he turned twenty five, he was already recognized by different award giving bodies for his best-selling books like, The Plausible Defiance and The Reparation.

In the year 1965, while he conceptualizing another book and came across a storyline given to him by an unknown writer. This story was about an old man living in a village called Al-Safarand. The story revolves around this old man’s journey in finding his only son, who according to him was kidnapped by her own mother and was raised somewhere in Canada. He was so fascinated with the story that he felt that this old man could be his father. He did the research himself and found some of the facts are somehow similar to his. Finally, he decided to fly to the Mediterranean to personally look for this man whom all his life he believed abandoned him and his mother.

Amidst the wars atrocities and abuses all the shooting and bombing he continued to search for his father. On August of 2003, Ahmad Khawaja received information on the whereabouts of the old man, he hurried to get to the location and found a man almost lifeless lying on the floor clutching a photo in his hand which to his surprise, was exactly the same photo he has in his wallet. He buried his father and flew back to Canada and started writing… he put in all the information he gathered while he was in Liwa. He found out that his father made several attempts to go to Canada but was denied a visa.

After almost one year, Ahmad Khawaja won almost every award there is for the book he wrote dedicated to his father entitled… “I Will Look for You in Heaven”.
 

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