Said Faiq, Professor of English, American University of Sharjah
[His review of the book has certainly garnered a lot of interest in Egoptics. His mention of the “difficulties” in critiquing a novel idea – an amalgamation of thoughts and observations – using common terminology with embedded meaning is surely justified. Egoptics can be best summarized through Said Faiq’s words – “complexity in the most simplest” presentation.]

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This an an attractive cover here on the book!

I normally send my reviews by mail. So the author has never seen me. Anyway, I will give it a try.[singlepic id=26 w=320 h=240 float=right]

Honorable guests, proud parents…

It is always difficult to review poetry in general and creative writing, let alone a collection by a young and promising writer. It is further difficult to talk about a writer who brings together different cultures, languages and different socio-economic locales. Further still it is more difficult to talk about writing that relies heavily on inter-layering and inter-borrowing of languages, realizations of thoughts etc.

All these make it difficult, see how many times I have repeated the word DIFFICULT to read or interpret EGOPTICS. The name is itself difficult. And also the dotcom. Those who visited make sure you visit again.

This is surely an excellent collection of poems and essays. And it is surely excellent as a first attempt. Bringing together all these under one note of culture. language, social adjustments of, as the gentlemen here referred as, a young boy from India grown up here and went to an Indian school in Sharjah…bringing up all these together, a run through these poems and essays in this really thought-provoking collection…

If these problems are not enough, then consider the problems inherent in the writing by Jaihoon. His writing reflects translation of words of cultures, of language, of attitudes, of habits and of his deeply-rooted religious beliefs. These are all emotions and signs, some of them are sacred, some of them are not so, inter-lines and inter-structures that convey his own individual spirit. A spirit, a presence that constructed in a language and transformed through a language unique to Jaihoon. Simple easy words we encounter in our everyday basis- soul, jannah, internet, e-something, female, crazy, tasbih… these are simple words: you hear them, you use them everyday. They become almost meaningless. But when you read them as put together and injected with certain meanings in this little collection of poems and essays, then they show some sensibility which run across…

But a number of questions arise. What is he trying to cover? What is he trying to repress through these verses and these assumptions- either embedded and intended- through the metaphors he uses. Are they good or bad? Where is one reading the conventional meaning and where is one reading the meaning intended by the author? What is left open before you to read for the price you pay? Questions, questions…

What can we expect from a volume called EGOPTICS? What can we expect from a marketing mind at the edge of e-technology?

Simply, complexity, yet simplicity at its best.

Perhaps Jaihoon’s symbols transverse the identity of English language itself. It is fitting that the volume opens with the quote from His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad al Qassimi, supreme council member and Ruler of Sharjah. Sharjah, to which Jaihoon devoted a whole poem… for me shows a maturity, a unique maturity, at the level of command of the manipulation of words and the deformation of the meanings of words.

Back to my preface. It is very difficult to predict what may follow EGOPTICS. I wish success and am sure what I have seen so far and reading this: success… I am sure we’ll see more EGOs to come from Jaihoon.

I hope his success tonight is not going to lead to creative stagnation. And I am sure as the little quotation from His Highness on the first pages of the book, that this is surely a candle lit.

Summarized transcript of speech by Prof Said Faiq at the release function of Egoptics, first book by Jaihoon