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 does Hamida believe is everything in life?

2. What does Salim Alwan want from Hamida?

3. How often does Jaada go to the baths?

4. Why does Kirsha openly invite the boy to the cafe in front of everyone?

5. What does Salim Alwan eat for lunch each day?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why does Radwan Hussainy advise Umm Hamida that Abbas will be a better husband for Hamida than Salim Alwan?

2. What bad habits does Mrs. Afify have?

3. Why does Kirsha wish success to Hitler?

4. How does Radwan Hussainy behave toward his wife that is in contrast to his treatment of all others?

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

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

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

8. When Abbas comes home to the alley on holiday, Uncle Kamil follows him to the cafe, and then asks Abbas to return to the sweet shop with him. Why is Uncle Kamil staying so close to Abbas?

9. Why have Salim Alwan's sons drifted from the life of merchants and trade?

10. How does Radwan Hussainy feel about boredom?

Essay 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

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

What effect on Mahfouz' storytelling was created by the fact that his audience had a low level of literacy and were unlikely to have ever read a novel before this one? What probable effects of those facts can you demonstrate in the text?

(see the answer keys)

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