Sexuality in Contemporary Egypt Essay

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Thinking about sex and sexuality evokes certain feelings and emotions among most westerners. The first and overwhelming thought is in the context of a healthy and loving relationship. That may closely be followed by mutual lust or maybe even a kind of sport for some perhaps, yet it is a widely accepted belief that western women hold the keys to that kingdom. The notions of necessity or domination certainly would not be the first things one might consider. However, the majority of the material covered in this course suggests that necessity and ideas of domination and submission are commonplace in contemporary Egypt while men are the overwhelming decision makers in such pursuits. To compound these issues, the authors of the course texts use …show more content…

This denial brings about questions of virility and masculinity, characteristics which are very important to Egyptian male identity as referenced by other works in the course like AUTHOR’S “Turn Out Those Lights.” These characteristics are so important to Egyptian male identity that this commentary was the basis for the Egyptian Ministry of Information to ban this book upon publishing in the late 1960s (Egypt’s Conscience). Alaa Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building is riddled with examples of sexual relationships, most of which are not necessarily mutually desired. In almost every instance of sex and sexuality in this book is established on some sort of transactional pretense with some kind of other undesirable undertones. The first, and most dynamic, example is that of the two men Hatim, a poor man, and Abduh, a respected editor. Aswany does not really go into great detail as to how this relationship began, but the audience is left to assume that this arrangement was at least initially consensual. The problem with this situation though is that despite the two being presumable lovers at first, Abduh feels compelled to keep the sexual relationship going because of what Hatim provides. Hatim gives Abduh anything he or his family needs leaving Abduh feeling trapped. The really interesting part of their sexual relationship is that it has a façade of role reversal. Despite Hatim clearly

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