Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts in English (M.A.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Literature and Philosophy

Committee Chair

Joe Pellegrino

Committee Member 1

Gautam Kundu

Committee Member 2

Howard Keeley


Midaq Alley and The Yacoubian Building both present Islamic traditions and Western modernity in colonial and neocolonial Egypt. These novels are abundant with culturally-accepted interpretations of Qur’an and Hadith that impede Egypt’s movement toward a more democratic state that grants human rights in general and women’s rights in particular. My thesis explores the repercussions of colonization and neocolonization on women, Islam, and politics as seen in these texts. During both the colonial and neocolonial periods, women in Egypt were and are oppressed by economic poverty and this cultural Islam. Thus, they revolt against wider Islamic traditions (either cultural or core), and they fall prey to Western materialism. The Egyptian government during the colonial period allied itself with the colonial powers; hence, political life in Egypt was corrupt. Similarly, the government during the neocolonial period advocates Western intervention in the country. So oppositional political parties are silenced, and classism becomes obvious. While Islam is not politicized during the colonial period, it takes a political form in the neocolonial period, and further develops into terrorism disguised under the name of jihad.