Haroun and the Sea of Stories Characters

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Haroun Khalifa

The novel's protagonist, Haroun is the adolescent son of Rashid and Soraya Khalifa. Khalifa in Arabic means "caliph," and the legendary Caliph Haroun-al-Rashid appears frequently in the Arabian Nights tales. Father and son here share his name. Haroun begins the book as a happy boy in an unhappy city. He would like to have had siblings, but is an only child. He accompanies his storytelling father to engagements. This ends when the upstairs neighbor runs off with Haroun's mother and Haroun becomes brooding, distrusting, and easily angered. His father's smashing of the household clocks at 11 AM—the time of his mother's disappearance—makes it impossible for Haroun to concentrate on anything for more than eleven minutes. Rashid, meanwhile, has lost his "gift of gab."

Father and son go to a political rally. On the eve, Haroun meets Iff the Water Genie disconnecting Rashid's Story Tap...

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This section contains 2,960 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Haroun and the Sea of Stories Study Guide
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