Question 1: Use of Yacoubian Building as a Metaphorical of Egyptian Society
This building and the tenant that lived for the longest period have been used metaphorically to describe the nature of the Egyptian society. To start with, it is located in the downtown part of Cairo and actually exists. The fact that the building exist in reality is a metaphorical representation of the contemporary Egyptian society. On the other hand, the fact that it is located in the downtown is an indication of unification of people. The downtown part of Cairo comprises of people from diverse backgrounds such that it reflects the true metropolitan nature of the Egyptian society. In addition, Zaki Pasha is illustrated in a manner to represent the aristocratic nature of the majority of the ruling class.
Question 2: Expression of Sexuality
Through the story of Buthayna, the director succeeds to show how Egyptian society handles women as sexual objects. In this case, they are compelled to indulge in sex to get material things in return. In addition, the story of Hatim Rasheed helps to bring out the issue of homosexuality which has become very prevalent in the contemporary society. Importantly, his story has been used to portray how the society goes against this societal aspect of homosexuality. Hajj Azzam is described as happily married to a very beautiful woman. This is an expression of how the society values marriage as part of human sexuality.
Question 3: Radicalism and Violence
The film provides insight about radicalism and violence especially in regard to the behaviour of governance. In this case, through Taha’s story, it is evident that the government does not provide opportunities to some people just because they have a certain background. For instance, Taha is blocked from being admitted since his father’s profession is considered to be of low status (“The Yacobian Building”). Indeed, this can be seen as an ideological violence in the society.
Question 4: Filmmaker’s and Author’s Statement
The filmmaker and the author seem to portray the idea that the Egyptian society has compromised it national principles of ethical governance. They have used the stories of different characters to show how the government fails to accommodate the inputs and opinions of its subject. Importantly, they clearly show that the government is completely discriminative in nature.
Part 5: Notes on Main Characters
Zaki Pasha: He is the long lived tenant of the Yacoubian building. The character is brought out as a representation of the aristocratic ruling class. He is described as having adopted more of a western orientation and ignores the traditional ideologues of Islam.
Taha: He is brought out as a representation of the poor class in the society since his father is described as the door building man. He was discriminated against getting a police training school admission based on his social status.
Buthayna: She was the childhood lover to Taha. She is used to bring out sexual degradation in the society. One of the most important exemplifications in her case was sexual exploitation by his employer for material factors. The case is brough otu to describe the use of women as sexual objects.
Malak: He is a low-class business man who makes shirts for commercial purposes. He has an objective to establish the business within the Yacoubian building but he first starts with putting up a hustling point on the roof.
Hatim Rashid: He is a pretty well up character as painted in the film since his father is described a legal scholar. The film concentrates much on his private life revealing his homosexuality nature. This is pretty unlikely since the entire society is against the behaviour.
Hajj Azam: He is a true representation of the wealthy and rich people in the Egyptian society. However, he is actually self-made since he came from being a shoe shiner to where he is currently as illustrated in the film.
The Yacoubian Building. Dir. Imad Adeeb and Wahid Hamed. Perf. Adel Emam,Nour El-Sherif and Hend Sabri. Good New Group, 2006. DVD.