Midaq alley Essay

This essay has a total of 549 words and 4 pages.

midaq alley

Midaq Alley Book Review

Naguib Mahfouz is the author of the book Midaq Alley that was translated from Arabic by
Trevor Le Gassick. First published in 1966, Midaq Alley displays a historical period of
Egypt in the most intimate sense as it is persesnted through the lives of the characters
that inhabit the alley.

Although the book is set in the early forties it possesses a taste of eternity as the
reader watches the characters struggle through questions of morality, ethics, and
traditions. (The answer of which shape their behavior.) This is all perceived through the
eyes of the ageless alley, which is witnessed with total indifference. Thus, inhancing
the feeling of eternity within which the circle of life is forever revolving.

Midaq Alley persents a diversity of chracters that creates the atmosphere that it is a
whole life and a complete portray of a functioning Egyptian socity of the forties.
Mahfouz successfully relates the events in Midaq Alley with the outside world by refering
to politics. This is illustrated when he states that -at this period of the Egyptian
history, working girls were usually jewish-they were the starting flare that began
modernization. The materialistic insentive that characterized most of the inhabitants of
the alley; best seen in Hamida, who in pursuite of her dreams of wealth and dresses became
Titi that belongs to Ibrahim Faraj-the pimp. Another close reference to political events
is through Abbas who leaves the alley to go work for the British Army in persue of
material gains-regardless of the question of paterialism! furthermore, Mahfouz states the
bad conditons of trade through Salim Alwan-the factory owner, as "wartime cut in imports
from India". Thus, stimulating merchantes that are personified in Salim Alwan to trade in
different commodities, which perviously never interested them; for instance, tea.

This resulted in the creation of black markets and subtaintial profits for merchantes.
Intimate description of the inhabitants in Midaq alley gives the alley a life of it's own.
Mahfouz indulges the reader in the inhabitants inner thoughts and desires; Kirsha's drug
addiction and homosexuality; Zaita's sadistic nature; Hamida's untamed ambitions; Alwan's
desires for Hamida; Hussain's dissatisfaction. On the other hand, there is Radwan
Hussainy-the religiiou figure; Abbas the niave lover. Thus, Mahfouz created a complete
sphere for a socity with the good along the bad; with the intangled destinies of the
characters in Midaq Alley. Which like life itself possesses it's own irony; Hamida-the
concided beauty of the alley, is left at the end of the book with a scare on her beatiful
face; Abbas finally over come his hesistance only to over react and get killed for the
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