Naguib Mahfouz was a prestigious Egyptian writer, who wrote several notable novels, such as “Midaq Alley” (1947) and “The Cairo Trilogy”. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1988. (Nobelprize.org, “The Nobel Prize in Literature 1988”). Midaq Alley is set 1940s' Egypt, during World War II, while Egypt was still a monarchy, and under British occupation. Mahfouz's characters are often symbolic. In Midaq Alley, Hamida, the protagonist symbolizes Egypt. Hamida is Egypt due to her rebellious nature, her independence, and ambition.
Hamida’s rebelliousness comes by way of wanting to desperately flee the alley and when given the chance to by Ibrahim Faraj, her being an opportunist, immediately grasps it. The day before she was due to leave Midaq…show more content… Hamida wanted to lead a different life where those who had the same aspirations would surround her, and Egyptians wanted to lead a different life and be ruled by their own kind. Both will rebel to get what they want if that’s what has to happen and nothing will get in their way. Hamida had moments when she was free and others when she was being controlled and her beauty was like no other in the eyes of men, and Egypt was under the rule of several empires and countries throughout its history and others wished to invade and control all that it had to offer. Several desired both, but in the end, both wished to govern themselves and be independent. Hamida’s ambition is portrayed through her unwavering desire to live the modern way and have an abundance of wealth and power, but is consistent in who she is throughout the entire novel, and Egypt’s ambition is portrayed through its people's desire to have what’s rightfully theirs and live under the system they deem worthy, as well as being ruled by their own people. Both know where their hearts lie and will carry on persevering to achieve their goals. Therefore, in Naguib Mahfouz’s “Midaq Alley,” Hamida is the symbol of Egypt due to her rebellious nature, independence, and