Would the character Fahmy in Palace Walk agree with the ideas of Khayr al-Din?- In the story, we are shown Fahmy to be a character that is educated especially in matters that relate to law. Education is a theme that comes out clearly as one of the factors that will affect the adoption of foreign culture. He is a well educated lawyer. He goes against the ideals of the British who are living in the neighborhood. Al-Din is someone who values traditions although he still gets the reformations from the West. Fahmy still keeps his traditional values but accepts the reformations from the West. Fahmy insists that he wants to see changes in the government. He, however, does not want the British who are in the country. They both have the same ideas and would accept the ideas of Khayr al-Din.
Being able to keep the various traditions and still maintain your culture is an interesting thing. This is what is seen in the character of Khayr al-Din. He is able to keep traditions of his community and yet at the same time he will manage to understand other cultures from other countries and nations. The ideas he has are in tandem with Islamic law and wants restrainer to be designed in accordance to Sharia law. This way, he ensures that he conforms to the tradition of his culture.
How do the ideas of freedom and progress appear in any two of our readings?
In many nations, the themes of freedom and progress are evident after independence. These two ideas are common in the two readings in the sense that Fahmy is seen to seek for freedom from British people and is seen to be fighting for this space. He wanted Egypt to progress at its own pace and now under the influence of the British. He ensured that people were not under the oppression of the British. In the same breath, we are shown Yusof to be a freedom fighter because of the sacrifice he made in his martyrdom. The negative depiction through Zari is shown because of the fact that she was denied of freedom. We are shown in the two readings of the quest to progress. This is shown in the aspect that Al Sharti insists that industrial progress does not equate to the progress of human beings. This has been the argument for a long time that the adoption of western way of life.
Do Khayr al-Din and Ali Shariati have different attitudes toward the West because they have different values?
Westernization is an issue that is being fought by many nations and is evident in these novels. The two characters have varying attitudes towards their cultures. The different aspect is that they have varying perceptions regarding the mixture of Islamic tradition and the west values and culture. While Ali Shariati wants to go ahead while preserving humanism and on the other hand Al-din wants to preserve the Islamic traditions and reformations.
Is Zari in Savushun a passive, enslaved character or does she have will and agency? Family roles and care is sown in the introduction of this character. Zari is shown to be someone who cares for her husband and sons. He goes ahead to give her sons a wedding and earring because she is not in a position to deny. She gains some sort of agency after the death of her husband.
Compare Sayyid Ahmad of Palace Walk with Yusof of Savushun.
Family life and outside influence are two issues that come out in these two novels. The two characters both protected their families. They are characters who are not sustainable. In The walk of the palace, Sayyid is portrayed to be a character that cannot put him in compromising situation. He will not do anything that will cast himself or his family in danger. The same cannot be said of Yusof. He puts his life in danger when he is seen to refuse to bring food to British army because Arabs are starving.
Does Savushun share any major ideas with Ali Shariati?
Assimilation of western ideas and ways of life is shown in the two novels. The two share several ideas. One major idea that the two share is that of imperialism. The two novels go against imperialism. There is alienation where the two novels show how the local people were alienated against imperialism and the western culture. Shariati explains imperialism while Zari represents imperialism. One way in which this is represented is by buying a sewing machine.
Al-Din, Al-Tunisi Khayr. The Surest Path: The Political Treatise of a Nineteenth-century Muslim Statesman. Harvard: Center for Middle Eastern Studies of Harvard University, 1967.
Daniswar, Simin. Savushun. Michigan: Mage Publishers, Incorporated, 1990.
Mahfuz, Najib. Palace Walk. New York: Anchor Books, 2011.