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. Why does Salim Alwan avoid a political career?

2. Why is Sheik Darwish always welcome?

3. What does Abbas say that falling in love has done for him?

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

5. How does Zaita know the intimate details of the bakers' lives?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did Hamida feel when she was in Ibrahim Faraj's house?

2. Why is Salim Alwan convinced that his employees are cheating him in spite of the fact that his careful auditing of the books shows no discrepancy?

3. As the story ends, what are the residents of the alley preparing to celebrate?

4. Why does Salim Alwan envy those who die of a heart attack?

5. What relationship does the Kirsha family have to Hamida?

6. Waiting for the boy with whom he has become acquainted, Kirsha suffers the "bitterness of victory." What is the bitterness of victory?

7. Which of the alley residents was most affected by the news of Abbas' tragic death?

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

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

10. When Mrs. Kirsha appeals to Radwan Hussainy for help, for whom does Radwan Hussainy pray first?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The effects of World War II on the Egyptian residents of Midaq Alley are far different than the effects of people of different economic and social strata, and on people in different parts of the world. Using the text, explain how the war has affected these characters.

Essay Topic 2

Take Zaita's point of view and write an essay defending his method of earning a living.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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