Midaq Alley Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Midaq Alley

Midaq Alley is a small, poor neighborhood in Cairo whose lives and doings are chronicled here during the Second World War. Among an array of characters are Salim Alwan, a young barbershop owner; Umm Hamida, bath attendant and marriage broker; Hussain Kirsha, a middle-aged cafe owner who ignores his wife to spend time with young men; and even Zaita, a dirty street person whose specialty is creating other beggars (even if that means breaking a limb or blinding them) and living off a portion of their take. Several males covet Umm Hamida's lovely young daughter, who is engaged in turn to several men but ends up an exotic dancer and prostitute after being sweet-talked by handsome and wealthy pimp Ibraham Faraj. Eqyptian writer Mahfouz, who won the Nobel Prize in 1988, presents this rich and strange milieu with calm, nonjudgmental objectivity and subtle humor. The 1947 story inspired a 1995 Mexican movie starring Salma Hayek.
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The review of this Book prepared by David Loftus

Chapter Analysis of Midaq Alley

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   upbeat Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Life of a profession:    -   prostitute/stripper/porn Ethnic/Regional/Religion    -   Arab/Muslim Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Job/Profession/Status story    -   Yes Ethnic/regional/gender life    -   Yes Unmarried Love Triangle?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   small businessman Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   Arab


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () Africa    -   Yes Kind of Africa:    -   Arabic Africa City?    -   Yes City:    -   dirty, grimy (like New York)

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references only    -   two guys doing it Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Midaq Alley

Naguib Mahfouz Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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