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 are the professions of Salim Alwan's sons?

2. What does Hamida believe is the key to the entire world?

3. What relation is Mrs. Kirsha to Hamida?

4. How does Zaita help the strong man to become an efficient beggar?

5. What relation is Umm Hamida to Hamida?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Hamida mean when she quotes the saying to her foster mother, "It's always the carpenter's door that's falling apart?"

2. How does Kirsha react to the gossip about his homosexual adventures?

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

4. What does Radwan Hussainy say is half of worshiping?

5. Why does Kirsha wish success to Hitler?

6. What does Radwan Hussainy say can defeat all of life's tragedies?

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

8. What does Zaita promise he will do to help the beggar who is too big and strong to gain people's sympathy?

9. What does Radwan Hussainy promise Abbas will happen if he returns to work and forgets about Hamida?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Analyze the character of Radwan Hussainy. How has he managed to live happily while enduring great sorrow and loss? What effect does his advice have on those who ask him for it? What do you see as Mahfouz' purpose in making Radwan Hussainy a central character in his depiction of the alley?

Essay Topic 2

Consider the references to God in the story in terms of personal responsibility. Which characters seem to you to actually believe in God and try to conform their behavior to the teachings of the Qur'an? Are those that refer to God most the true believers? Discuss at least two characters in terms of their relation to deity, using examples from the text.

Essay Topic 3

Radwan Hussainy says that evil is a form of weakness or illness, causing people to be unable to recognize the good that is around them. Consider the problem of evil in this story. Is Zaita evil? Is Ibrahim Faraj? Is Hamida? Decide upon your own definition of evil, and analyze at least two characters in light of your definition, using evidence from the text. Then determine whether you agree with Radwan Hussainy's definition.

(see the answer keys)

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