Midaq Alley Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What do his jealous friends call Hussain Kirsha?

2. Why is Umma Hamida pleased with Salim Alwan's offer?

3. What does Hamida feel for Abbas as they walk together?

4. Was is Radwan Hussainy an unusual landlord?

5. Why is Sheik Darwish always welcome?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Ibrahim Faraj refrain from having sex with Hamida?

2. When Kirsha shows anger toward Sheikh Darwish, he appeals to Zainab. Who is she and why does Sheikh Darwish pray to her?

3. Why does Zaita claim that the best doctors in Egypt don't have the skill that he does?

4. How do Hamida and her friends feel about the Jewish girls that work in Cairo?

5. Why does Mrs. Kirsha go to Radwan Hussainy to complain of her husband's behavior?

6. How does Radwan Hussainy feel about boredom?

7. Why is Hamida pleased when Abbas says that what she has done will always stand between them?

8. Why does Kirsha come to Radwan Hussainy's home?

9. Of Abbas and Hussain Kirsha, which was first to leave the alley and which was first to return?

10. When Umm Hamida informs Mrs. Afify that she has found a new husband for her, she tells her that she will need to prepare her own trousseau, which is not what she actually means. What does she mean?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Determine what the main theme of Midaq Alley is, and support your answer with evidence from the book. Where is this theme seen in the book? How is it exemplified? Who does it affect? What role does it have in the plot?

Essay Topic 2

The story ends as it began, with a description of the alley. Do you think that Mahfouz would agree with the statement, "The more things change, the more they remain the same?" Or would he agree with Sheikh Darwish's statement, "There's never a heart that doesn't change?" In your essay, take one side or the other and defend your position with facts from the text.

Essay Topic 3

A character foil is one whose characteristics provide a contrast to a main character. Is Hussain Kirsha a character foil for Abbas? Why or why not? Compare and contrast the characters of the two young men.

(see the answer keys)

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