As-salamu alaykum Dear Readers,
Thank you so much for your patience. May Allah reward you. The last chapter of Hassan’s Tale was published in September 2014. Now here we are, a year later, ready to begin the final series in this long and exciting saga.
We will publish the first chapter of Ouroboros in one week, Insha’Allah, and a chapter each week after that until completion. There are 14 chapters altogether.
Admit it. You thought I’d never finish it the story, didn’t you? Even I had my doubts at times. For the last few years I’ve been a full-time single parent, and that is time consuming. In addition, I’ve been heavily focused on the development of my own martial arts style, called Hammerhead Hapkido, and on my Jujitsu training as I prepared to test for 2nd degree black belt (I passed, Alhamdulillah).
In Ramadan I found myself with some extra time on my hands – isn’t it amazing how much time is freed up when you don’t eat? – so I re-read the entire series, making a number of edits as I went. That triggered something, and from that time on I started writing diligently, working on Ouroboros every day.
If you are new to these (mostly) fictional stories, please note that Ouroboros is the conclusion to the previous stories in the series (Pieces of a Dream, A Lion is Born, The Deal, Kill the Courier, Dispatch Wizard and Hassan’s Tale). See the Story Index. Ouroboros will make more sense if you read those stories first.
Even if you have already read the previous stories, please be aware that over the last year I have made several significant plot changes and additions. So you might want to re-read them.
If you’re not inclined to re-read the previous stories, here are some changes to be aware of:
- The events in “Kill the Courier” and “Hassan’s Tale” take place two months after the end of “The Deal”, not on the same day. I wanted to give enough time to justify the feelings that Jamilah is developing for Hassan.
- The name of the mental hospital where Hassan was held after Lena’s death was changed to Karanlik. I’d previously used the name of a real Turkish hospital, but I realized that might be slanderous.
- The assassin Mr. Green’s code name was changed from “The Partridge” to “The Crow”. Crow is a bit scarier, don’t you think?
- The secret warehouse belonging to the Lebanese consulate is in West Oakland, not in San Francisco.
- Jamilah’s cousin Shamsiyyah is a trauma surgeon, rather than a psych intern. This will make sense as you read the later chapters.
- The character of Alice’s nurse in “Dispatch Wizard” has been changed. I mention this because she will reappear briefly later on.
- The ending of Hassan’s Tale has been completely changed; those changes have been incorporated into this first chapter of Ouroboros.
Some of these changes were made in response to insightful reader comments. One reader questioned (and rightfully so) the logic of the previous Hassan’s Tale ending. Another suggested that Kadija could guide Jamilah and help her become more mature. Yet another posted a brilliant comment from which I borrowed the title of chapter 4: The Only End to the Road of Life.
In fact, some you should be writers as well (if you are not already). There are many sharp minds out there.
So, dear brothers and sisters, thank you. Thanks also to Muslimmatters for providing me with the opportunity to reach so many dedicated readers; and to my editor, Amy, who has forced me to remain true to the logic of the plot and the personalities of the characters.
I do have one request of you readers. If you think you know the identity of a certain character (some of you know what I mean), please refrain from speculating in the comments. I don’t want the mystery to be ruined for others.
Look for a new chapter every Wednesday. See you next week, and enjoy!