Books·Canadian

The Youth of God

A novel by Hassan Ghedi Santur.

Hassan Ghedi Santur

The Youth of God tells the story of Nuur, a sensitive and academically gifted 17-year-old boy growing up in Toronto's Somali neighbourhood, as he negotiates perilously between the calling of his faith and his intellectual ambitions. Trying to influence him are a radical Muslim imam and a book-loving, dedicated teacher who shares his background. In its telling, this novel reveals the alienated lives of Somali youth in an environment riddled with crime and unemployment, while still in the grip of bitter memories of a home left behind. This intensely moving novel is also a powerful allegory of the struggle for the soul of Islam in modern times. (From Mawenzi House)

From the book

Mr Ilmi loved the view from the window of his classroom. Every season had its charm, but this was his favourite time of the year when the leaves on the giant maple tree outside were at their greenest. He watched the branches sway in the wind. A storm was gathering, he could tell — the sky looked dark and foreboding. A breeze brought in a scent of freshly mowed grass. The soft sound of rustling leaves beckoned memories of the big tree that grew in his childhood home, memories that were quickly interrupted by the shuffling of pages, the creaks of chairs and the occasional cough.

Mr Ilmi turned around from the window, leaned against the pane and watched his students writing his final exam. It was mid June and in a few days the school year would end. So much had happened that year, yet so much remained the same.


From The Youth of God by Hassan Ghedi Santur ©2019. Published by Mawenzi House.