Midaq Alley Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What change takes place in Kirsha's cafe in Chapter One and what does this change represent?

The poet who has recited for many years is asked to leave Kirsha's cafe and is replaced with a radio. This change represents the contrast between the past and the present - or, as Sheikh Darwish says, "History."

2. How had Sheikh Darwish become a homeless man of God?

Sheikh Darwish had lost his job years ago because of his bad disposition and his belief that he was chosen by God to tell men what to do. Since then, he has wandered but has never been without food, clothing, or shelter.

3. Why do residents of the alley fear Umm Hamida?

Umm Hamida is to be feared because she is a tireless and encyclopedic gossip.

4. What bad habits does Mrs. Afify have?

Coffee, cigarettes, and miserliness are Mrs. Afify's bad habits, and they are not gossip-worthy.

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