Deal With The Islamic State’s National Security Director: A Parrot is a Good Patriot! (The Morning of the Mogul Book 7)
In Book 7, Bassam Bourasin, beleaguered after the genocide in ‘Ouja and the assassination of his mother and fiancee Dalila, strikes a deal with Hassan, the new National Security Director of the Islamic State:
In Book 7, Bassam Bourasin’s life is turned upside down when he experiences the genocide in ‘Ouja and the assassination of his mother and fiancee Dalila. Despite this immense tragedy, Bassam manages to find strength within himself to strike a deal with the new National Security Director of the Islamic state. This powerful story will leave readers captivated.
Unique Plot Twists:
As readers move through Book 7, they’ll be surprised at every turn by unexpected plot twists that keep them hanging onto every word. With each page turning, suspense builds as Bassam navigates his way through the challenges of this difficult time in history.
Developed over several books in this series, the characters in Book 7 come alive with their unique personalities and perspectives. Readers will find themselves empathising with Bassam’s plight and cheering him on as he works to create a better future for himself amidst so much strife and uncertainty.
Deep Exploration of Real Issues:
Book 7 delves deep into serious subjects such as genocide and religious persecution, examining them from multiple angles. By exploring these themes from a variety of perspectives, readers are invited to consider their own views on these issues and how they affect our world today.
Engaging Writing Style:
This book’s masterful writing style provides an immersive experience for readers. From vivid descriptions to thoughtful character development, readers will be captivated by the engaging narrative that carries them through this gripping story.
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Six months already! The sky is overcast, and the air is wet. Since yesterday evening, the rain has not ceased pelting the roofs, walls, and cement courtyard floor. A stuttering and haggard rain in the desolate courtyard syncopates rhythmically in a weird dance. The first autumn rain brings optimism to the peasants, but it is a fantasy for us. There are puddles of water all over the dirty floor, and the gutters gurgle and growl in the dim light. The uniforms of the guards, the iron bars, the people’s faces, and even the sheets on which I am writing are all grey. The clouds have infiltrated our cells and even our hearts. Everything inside my bosom is grey, like the crying sky I’m staring at.
The troops had left; they were most likely required elsewhere than prison. The civil war is no longer an urban legend. The country is divided. The Committee of Revolution controls the north and the mainland, but the south is in rebellion. The former president, nicknamed “the Scoundrel,” led the resistance to the new regime. They’re no longer concealing the reality. On television, they have launched a campaign to push the population to support their couvolution. We now know the faces of the men who had set out to depose the president. They are a gang of seven, and their leader Abdelghani Abdelghaffar (in his early fifties) is the new President. They are all military personnel. Apart from Abdelghani Abdelghaffar (AA), no one has a beard. The seven appeared as self-confident as gang members that had just looted the Central Bank. They bragged about their nationalism, blamed the former King, and ridiculed the couvolution of his “incompetent and renegade” ex-minister of the interior. The King was branded the ‘instrument of the West’, and the former president ‘the renegade Scoundrel’.
On TV, the new leader, Abdelghani Abdelghaffar, looked like a short, dark man with shiny black hair, a broad forehead, and two big eyes that didn’t look straight. A massive nose the size of an excellent eggplant topped a dish-like gaping mouth adorned with an enormous beard.
I was most perplexed by his gaze, as were the other detainees watching the news. We rarely see him at the palace without his black specs, which he wears even at night… We initially assumed he was blind, but it appears that he is not. Then one of the inmates took the initiative and nicknamed him ‘the Phantom,’ after the title of a popular comic book. Since then, we often heard in the cell that Phantom did this or phantom did that, and so on.
Meanwhile, somebody pretended to know the explanation for the mystery. The Phantom had an accident as a child. Since then, his right eye has been clumsily trying to outrun his left. The rivalry between the two eyes resulted in the most incredible phenomenon: when the Phantom looks at you, for example, beware, this is mere deceit. He is, in reality, looking at the person standing by your side. I won’t deny that I’ve been terrified by the possibility that our President is squinting because it’s commonly known that such people can see double. He can not only surprise the person unaware that he is staring at them, but he also sees two pounds where there is only one, four million where there are two, eight billion instead of four, and so on. His eyes have the power to make him rich at will. I wish I could do the same miracle. On the other hand, this represents a complex problem for the state’s affairs when you are in charge. Why did the Committee of Revolution, whose members seem to have perfect eyes, choose the Phantom for president? This I don’t understand. He is, without a doubt, their undisputed leader. I’m curious to know to which good star he owed a clear view of the Palace on the fateful night of the coup! He could have assailed the neighbouring villa while riding his tank and thinking he was attacking the presidential palace, couldn’t he? He was undoubtedly fortunate – and the neighbours much more – for hitting his target on the first try. But maybe he was not driving the tank himself. As a result, it is not surprising that the scoundrel escaped. AA, alias the Phantom, should have spotted him. While AA thought he was arresting the scoundrel, he actually arrested another officer, most likely one of his servants or bodyguards, who happened to be by his side. The latter would be released later, but the wrong is done. That explains why, shortly after the coup, it was stated that ‘the Scoundrel’ was killed while fleeing. Nobody saw the corpse and nobody asked for any proof. I do not blame the Phantom for allowing his enemy to escape easily. Because he squints, he is not guilty. However, the other members of the Committee of Revolution are responsible for such a blunder, which resulted in the worst ravages currently inflicted on the country. It is clear that when they divided the jobs before the coup, they assigned AA to assail the presidential palace, although he could mistake the neighbouring villa for the target. That is a big, bad mistake that would hurt our country in many ways in the future.
Today, we received a visit from one of our most prominent former inmates. It deserves to be fully recounted because it is undeniably a history page. I was busy arranging my books on the shelves, as I had done every morning since some inmates had become contaminated by the books mania when I heard a strange clamour coming from the courtyard. Curiosity compelled me to abandon the books and peer through the window.
A small group of men had gathered in front of the block that housed the warden family and the administration offices. The guards attempted to disperse the curious inmates gathered around the small group. But, as I tightened my gaze, trying in vain to recognise the faces of those men who had come to visit us, I noticed my friend Hassan in the centre. His tall stature and reddish hair made him easily identifiable. Spruce and elegant in an autumn brown suit, he was busy talking to the prison’s officer-director, an unmistakable aura of authority surrounding him.
For me, it was a pleasant surprise and, more importantly, a ray of hope on the horizon. It was clear that Hassan was no longer a detainee. Nor did he look like a journalist returning to the prison where he had been formerly jailed to make a report. The man has apparently managed to ingratiate himself with the country’s new rulers and has become one of them. If he wasn’t a minister, he was close to becoming one. That was easy to guess. Hassan is the Islamist mogul who has always lurked in the dark without anybody knowing his real identity. I saw the Mercedes and the chauffeur waiting for him in the yard and how humbly the prison director addressed him. The officer had just become as discreet as a shadow, all smiles and honey, bowing before the powerful man and almost yapping and yelping like a genuine son of a bitch.
They entered the block, and I lingered behind the bars of my window, bemused by the shining Mercedes and the other official cars parked behind it and wondering about the true purpose of the visit.
– What’s going on out there? Do you have any idea?
My question was addressed to an inmate who happened to be with me in the library at that moment. He came in to change his book. The man was a notorious trader who I knew was Mr Aroussi’s and Hassan’s chamber mate before the latter’s release. Half-bald in his forties, with tired features, a drooping moustache and a wide mouth beneath a pointed nose, all his physical presence was in his lazy eyes hidden behind curved brows. He seemed to be thinking and his bumped forehead got another wrinkle.
– This is the first visit of the new Director of Security, he stated flatly.
– Who are you referring to? Hassan?
– Actually, who else?
– How did you find out? I inquired, surprised.
– It’s been in every newspaper since yesterday. Didn’t you read anything?
I admitted that I didn’t. In fact, the press had been allowed into the prison for two days, and while I didn’t think it was necessary, some inmates rushed around buying papers and exchanging them. I saw no point in imitating them because I didn’t expect anything other than what was broadcast on television. I was mistaken. For once, the new Director of Security appointment was announced in the newspapers rather than on television.
When the man left the library with his new book, I sat down, thinking about what I should do to catch Hassan’s attention. He couldn’t have forgotten about me in such a short time. After all, we were friends, even if we had some mistrust. But that was not entirely absurd in the bituminous and foggy days preceding the coup. Everyone was suspect in everyone’s eyes by that point. We were all watching each other and trying to hide our terrible fear of being called political troublemakers or just fans of the deposed king.
Hassan never told me about his ties to the military junta that overthrew the regime. He even hinted that he was opposed to Islamists. I had yet to learn how much my friend committed himself to them. Had he not made fun of the Afghan and his cohort? Indeed, he was deceiving me because he couldn’t determine my true political colours. I have none, as I always say I am apolitical, but who would trust me? Hassan clearly didn’t trust me.
As I brooded, I noticed the small group of visitors exiting the block and making their way to another, followed and surrounded by the guards. The warden was busy explaining something to Hassan, who listened listlessly as if bored. They went on a tour of the compounds while I stood on the threshold staring at them and resisting the urge to rush around and hail my friend. I told myself that if he went to the ward, he would visit the library, and I was right. When they finished their tour they went to the kitchens, and I prepared to greet them. A few minutes later, I noticed them walking towards the library and dashed up to welcome the Director of Security, who smiled kindly as we shook hands.
– Hello, Bassam, he said. How are you getting on with the books?
– Very well, sir. Thank you very much; it is a great honour for us. This is a wonderful day! Long live President Abdelghaffar! I exclaimed, carried away by my enthusiasm. The Revolution must continue! Long live the Security Director!
My effusive gushing had an effect. Hassan was touched and pleased by my warm greeting. He gently tapped my shoulder and said, Thank you, Bassam.” And, turning to face his companions, he added, “A good guy this one, a very good guy indeed.”
The men nodded and grimaced at me, unable to smile. The resentment in their cold eyes was talking. But as long as the security Big Boss was my friend, I didn’t care about the others, including the warden.
– Mister Hassan, congratulations! I am truly delighted. I have always predicted a successful career for you. I was not mistaken. We have the right man in the right place for the first time.
He thanked me again and asked. Do you have anything to complain about?
I was hesitant to respond because we were not alone. My natural discretion prevented me from expressing my emotions in front of those unknown men. But he saw my predicament and turned to his companions, saying, “Please leave us alone a few minutes. We need to talk privately.”
Except for the warden, the group withdrew meekly. But Hassan insisted to be left alone with me and the warden followed the others, a little embarrassed. The group stood outside the library.
Hassan gently took my arm and led me inside the room.
– Tell me, Bassam, what’s the matter? Don’t be afraid.
– Well, sir, I’m a little uncomfortable. I don’t want to bother you with my problems.
– There is no problem at all. I can assist you, but you must empty your bag first. What’s the matter?
– Well, sir, you know my story. I was jailed without a real charge. I’ve been waiting for my trial for about six months. I want to know if I’m guilty or not.
He looked at me, almost puzzled. He didn’t seem to be expecting such a confession.
– But, Bassam, why are you so concerned? You are not guilty.
The great hope that loomed to me was becoming a reality.
– Are you sure, sir?
– I am, indeed.
– But the shrink said my charges would put me in jail for at least twenty years.
– Nonsense! He is not a magistrate.
– Then why am I still in prison, sir?
– I don’t know why! Are you in prison? Really? Who said you are?
The looming great hope got clouded.
– Well, I mean… am… the hot… Ahem! I stammered…. the hotel, sir!
– Ah! There you are, maturing into wisdom. As you have stated, this is a hotel, not a prison. A fantastic hotel, the best in the capital. You must be proud of being accommodated at the expense of the State. Besides, you’re well-protected and have nothing to worry about.
– But… am… sir, I am indeed proud. It’s a decent hotel…
– Are you dissatisfied with the service? Here you’ll find the best hotelkeepers in the country and the best cooks, waiters, and travel agents.
– Yes, sir. No doubt, but I am not a tourist.
– You are not a tourist. Who pretended you were? You’re working here, aren’t you?
– Yes, sir, but… Ahem… I’ve never been paid. Besides, if I stay here, I might lose my first job at ‘Ouja bank.
– You will be compensated for each day you spend in this library. I’ll see to it. However, you should not expect to be paid at the end of the month as you were previously. This is a different job and a different location.
– Well, sir, am… it’s not just the money I’m concerned about. I know I’ll be paid because I work in a State-supervised department…
– Exactly, well said, Bassam! This is the Department of State.
– Yes, sir. But I am not fit for the job. I was never trained to work in a library. My incompetence is…
– Bassam! Bassam! Cut the bullshit! What a lame excuse! You should be more aware of the threats to our country. This is a difficult time for everyone. Show your sense of patriotism; what the devil! I, too, had not been trained to serve as Security Director. But should I refuse the post? Is it not my duty to defend my country?
– Yes, sir, you are correct. However, am… Our country might need me more at the bank. It’s my domain.
– No way, Bassam. You are wrong. I assure you that your real job is here. You are assigned to this library. Have you had any success with the inmates? Do they read more?
– Well, am… In fact, they do; I can’t deny it. There has been some progress; they no longer insult me and reject books as they used to.
– Well, well, well! You can see that you are improving them. That is why I believe you will be most useful in this position. This is your true vocation, Bassam, though you were unaware of it. The bank is useless to you. In any case, it will be closed.
– Really? How come, sir?
– Because it is insolvent. Mr Aroussi, your boss, had caused a shambles. It’s not only six million dollars he siphoned, but much more.
– Oh, I’m so sorry! I didn’t know this. Mr Aroussi is an honest man and a trustworthy banker, though.
– I strongly advise you not to repeat this naive and unfounded assumption before anyone else, lest you be charged with complicity with a corrupt crook.
– But I am not, sir. You know it.
– I am confident that you did nothing wrong. That’s why you weren’t charged. I believe there will be no trial for you.
– I did nothing wrong, sir. But I want a trial. I’d like to know how long I’ll stay here.
– You don’t need a trial to figure it out. And, besides, why do you care?
– Because I’m concerned about my career, sir. I can’t go on without knowing what I’m up to. It’s just common sense.
He looked at me silently for a moment. Was He angry? As the silence grew longer, I became more circumspect. I should not have been so obstinate. Our friendship is not a reason to put such pressure on each other. I was so uneasy that I felt compelled to apologise. But then he said something completely unexpected.
– Look, Bassam, you have no reason to ask for a trial. You can think of me as a friend, but believe me when I say you’re not going anywhere anytime soon.
– Why not, sir? I inquired. Didn’t you say there’s no charge against me?
– The charges you heard about from the shrink are faked. You are not detained because of them; any court would release you due to a lack of evidence. But that doesn’t mean you’re completely clean.
He paused, then added, “I am aware of your reports. I have examined some of them.”
It was as if I found myself suddenly naked under a shower of iced water in the heart of December.