1. Where has Amer Wagdi moved and how long has it been since he was last there?
After twenty years away, working as a journalist, 80-year old Amer Wagdi returns to his old residence in Alexandria's Miramar Pension.
2. What do Amer and Mariana complain about and plan?
After comparing complaints about aging, Amer and Mariana plans a New Year's Eve celebration.
3. What is Tolba Marzuq relationship to Mariana, and what does Amer think of him?
Amer finds fellow lodger Tolba Marzuq, an embittered ideological opponent, annoying but Amer avoids political talk with the man. Tolba and Mariana are long-ago lovers. Amer recalls him once arriving at a gala event drunk.
4. What does Mariana offer Zohra and what does Amer fear about Zohra?
Zohra comes asking for a job, and Mariana, who is delighted to have a maid, shrugs off Amer's concern that Zohra's family may try to take her home.
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