Midaq Alley- - Contrasting Worlds Mahfouz Naguib Midaq...

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Contrasting Worlds Mahfouz, Naguib. Midaq Alley . New York, New York: Anchor Books, 1966. Naguib Mahfouz’s novel Midaq Alley is about an old, narrow, ageless alley in Cairo. Naguiq Mahfouz, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988 for his multiple works of fiction about modern Egyptian history, wrote his novels in an attempt to enlighten and reform society in his home country of Egypt. Mahfouz uses Midaq Alley to display the quick, enormous change Egypt was experiencing during the time period from influences from the west and modernization. Even with enormous change in Egyptian society, many parts of Egyptian life remained the same. (x). Midaq Alley tells the story of multiple characters living in the alley during British occupied Egypt in the midst of World War II and their strain with life outside of the alley. Through the characters intertwined relationships with each other, their morality, ambition, and traditionalism is tested by the ever modernizing world outside of the alley. Midaq Alley shows the great difference between the old Egyptian alley with the outside world, while showing the effects poverty has on individual morality and materialism. Mahfouz opens Midaq Alley with a description explaining its importance to the culture of Cairo prior to the novel. Many things combine to show that Midaq Alley is one of the gems of times gone by and that it once shone forth like a flashing star in the history of Cairo. Which Cairo do I mean? That of the Fatimids, the Mamlukes or the Sultans? Only God
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