Midaq Alley Questions and Answers
by Naguib Mahfouz

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Examine the effect of the setting in Midaq Alley, considering that the author used the setting to convey a message.

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The setting of Midaq Alley is a significant backdrop for a couple of reasons.  The first is that it is literally a "dead end."  While there is life teeming all around Midaq Alley in terms of Cairo and foreign influence, Midaq Alley does not feature much in way of life within it.  The characters who seek to find happiness do not settle for it in Midaq Alley.  Hamida is one whose desire for materialism leads her to loathe Midaq Alley.  Interestingly enough, the dead end that she hates is what her life becomes once she leaves the alley.  Abbas, in love with Hamida, leaves Midaq Alley in order to fulfill his promise to her...

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