Egypt's Inability to Overcome Interpersonal Polarization Essay examples

Egypt's Inability to Overcome Interpersonal Polarization Essay examples

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The past half-century of Egyptian history, shows a slight change on the surface of Egyptian society but stagnation and rot at the core. Beginning with Nasser’s socialism and building through the Mubarak regime, Egypt experienced small victories and large losses. Despite finally having Egyptian leaders in comparison to foreign rule, Egypt’s problematic socioeconomic condition has changed minimally. With almost no real economic development outside of Cairo and a severe lack of a common identity, the Egyptian people have not progressed since the Young Officers revolution in 1952. Naguib Mahfouz’s The Thief and the Dogs, Sonallah Ibrahim’s That Smell, and Marwan Hamed’s adaptation of The Yacoubian Building illustrate how modern Egypt’s economic inequality facilitates social divisiveness through hatred and moral decay; moreover, only when the Egyptian people transcend their domestic problems by conquering their interpersonal polarization will the nation reach its full potential.
Mahfouz’s The Thief and the Dogs (1962) depicts the apparent hatred between members of different socioeconomic classes. Mahfouz develops Said Mahran to show periodic disgust toward those with greater wealth than himself. When speaking with Ilish Sidra, Mahran challenges, “[t]hen how have you been able to live in such comfort…and spend so generously on others?” (Mahfouz 157). In this specific case, Mahran implies Sidria lives off Mahran’s former wealth. Because he recently left prison, Mahran owns nothing. This situation exemplifies how the rich oppress the lower classes by whatever means necessary. Rauf Ilwan has the greatest wealth of any of the major characters in the narrative. Mahran visits Ilwan for help finding a job, but Ilwan turns him down and suggest...

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...and overthrew Mubarak. Although only an initial step in the path to change, it laid a foundation to build upon. Once they have changed the oppression of the government, perhaps they can turn their attention toward themselves and effect the positive, lasting change their authors and intellectuals have been hoping for since the 1960s.

Works Cited

Ibrahim, Sonallah. That Smell and Notes from Prison. 1966. Ed. and Trans. Robyn Creswell. New York: New Directions, 2013. Print.
Mahfouz, Naguib. The Thief and the Dogs. 1962. In The Beggar/The Thief and the Dogs/Autumn Quail. Trans. Trevor Le Gassick and M.M. Badawi. Rev. John Rodenbeck. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. Print.
The Yacoubian Building. Dir. Marwan Hamed. Perf. Adel Imam, Nour El-Sherif, Yousra, and Hend Sabri. 2006. Good News Group/Arab Corporation for Cinema Production and Distribution. 2008. DVD.

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