Those familiar with the Michael Kusugak/ Robert Munsch collaboration A Promise is a Promise will remember the note at the end of the book about how the Qallupilluit were originally created by Inuit parents as a way to scare their children away from dangerous cracks in the ice.
But whereas the Inuit used their mythological creature for a noble cause, the use of the "jinn" in Badriyah Al Bishr's short story "The Well" seems more sinister. The jinn, according to Wikipedia, are a sort of supernatural beings in Arab folklore and like humans, may be good, evil, or neutral. The jinn, in this story, is unquestioningly evil.
Its existence, on the other hand, is questioned and therein lies the social commentary about reality and how we manage ugly truths. Unlike a Promise is a Promise, this is no child's story.
From Words Without Borders, "The Well" is by a Saudi Arabian woman who, I would think, has written a rather brave exploration of culture, belief, and the treatment of women.
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