The name that Farah gives to his characters illustrates character development and either foreshadows their future or gives details about their background. For example, Askar means a fighter and in the beginning we see that Askar is struggling to find out his identity but he fights through these obstacles and finds his true self. Furthermore, Askar’s choice of name is a tribute to his father, who was a soldier and martyr for the Western Somali Liberation Front. Both Farah’s methods of introducing characters and his choices for character names are significant in demonstrating meaning in the novel.
While reading the interlude a very significant character was introduced “His maternal uncles name is Hilaal… please find him” (125). Before Hilaal was introduced Qorrax says that he trusted “you” which is Askar in the hands of this uncle. This is very significant because Hilaal took in Askar and cared for him. Farah introduced Hilaal in not much detail, he did not talk about his looks or why he choose to care for Askar but he provided a very important part of Askars life and this helped the character find his identity later on.
In part three a character named Riyo was introduced in a casual way “Riyo being a girl your age a neighbor and classmate” (205). Farah introduced many of the characters other then Misra because of the role she played to Askar in a very casual way. He doesn’t give too much detail about them; rather he kind of leaves that until later on and doesn’t like giving vital details when you first meet the character. All of these factors show how unique of a writer Farah is and how he introduces characters very differently than others.