WAVE GOODBYE TO MUHAMMAD is set in Libya in late 1956 and early 1957. Like today, many of the North African and Middle Eastern countries were in turmoil. Egypt, to the east of Libya, had a new president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who wanted to nationalizeMoreWAVE GOODBYE TO MUHAMMAD is set in Libya in late 1956 and early 1957.
Like today, many of the North African and Middle Eastern countries were in turmoil. Egypt, to the east of Libya, had a new president, Gamal Abdel Nasser, who wanted to nationalize the Suez Canal, and, to Libya’s west, the French were indiscriminately killing Algerian Arabs.
In Libya itself, many of the Libyans were demanding the closure of Wheelus Air Base, a sprawling American air force base located a few miles outside of Tripoli. During the time period the novel takes place, Libya is undergoing great changes – going from being one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the richest. The main reason for this tumultuous change? The discovery of oil underneath the Sahara. Not only is Libya’s fate determined by an inhospitable desert, but also by inhospitable politics. The main characters are Wilma Rodgers, the eleven-year-old daughter of S/Sgt.
Sam Rodgers, a cook at the NCO messhall at Wheelus Air Base, and eleven-year-old Leila bint Jamal al-Rihan, the cousin of Muhammad ibn Wadi al-Rihan, the Rodgerses’ houseboy and brother of Younis ibn Wadi al-Rihan. Younis is the editor of LIBYA AL-HURRA (FREE LIBYA) and president of the pro-Nasser Literary Society, which meets at the Bani Hilal Bookshop, across from the Rodgerses’ apartment on Mizran Street.
Despite their vastly different worldviews – Wilma, an American, who lives in Tripolis New City- Leila, a Libyan, who lives in Tripolis Old City – Wilma and Leila become best of friends. Also, despite the political turmoil in Libya and its surrounding countries, Wilma, Leila, et al. try to live as normal lives as possible, sometimes a daunting task, to say the least.
A sense of fairness, and not liking a bully picking on someone weaker – it seemed to be universal. At least among children. Grownups, now that was a different story! Other characters include boy-crazy Libby Ann Smith, who is also eleven years old and whose father is a cook at the Officers’ Open Mess- Georgette Westley, the eleven-year-old rebellious daughter of Col.
George Westley, the commander of Wheelus Air Base- and Martin Montgomery, the twelve-year-old son of Capt. Nigel Montgomery, who is with the British army’s 10th. Armoured Division Signal Regiment in Tripoli. Although many of the characters are young adults, WAVE GOODBYE TO MUHAMMAD is written to appeal to readers regardless of their ages. Praise for WAVE GOODBYE TO MUHAMMAD: “I was hooked by the intro. Excellent writing – it really flows.” – Amazon Editor Reviewer #1 “The historical anchoring with the political details of the time period was very well done.” – Amazon Editor Reviewer #2