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No One Sleeps In Alexandria Analysis

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No One Sleeps in Alexandria is the first part of the Alexandria Trilogy. In it, Ibrahim Abdel Meguid focuses on the changes that took place in Alexandria throughout history, especially during World War II. This essay will focus on the representation of Alexandria, the effect of the war, and the importance of time in No One Sleeps in Alexandria. Ibrahim Abdel Meguid says, ‘’did Alexander know that he [is] building not just a city to immortalize his name, but a whole world and a whole history? Probably: he [is] concerned not just with immortality, but with changing the world’’(64). Accordingly, we see Alexandria as the background against which everything takes place. Each character plays a certain role in Alexandria and is affected by it. Alexandria…show more content…
M. Forster says, ‘’the best way to experience the city is to walk about quite aimlessly. Once the first sense of estrangement is over, the mind finds its surcease in the discovery of the dream-city Alexandria which underpins, underlays the rather common place little Mediterranean seaport which it seems, to the uninitiated, to be’’ (qtd. in Savvopolulos 21). In the light of this quote, we see how the characters’ view of the city changes when they get to know it more. For example, when Zahra first moves to Alexandria, she feels that ‘’she is scared from the city’’ (Abdel Meguid 63). With the progress of time, Zahra’s point of view changes and we are told that ‘’Zahra [enters] the magical world of Alexandria after she [see] its sea and big squares with Mariam. The stories of Hamido’s mother [gives] the vacant city warmth in that cruel winter. When it rains, warmth spread in space. Space becomes bigger and the sky goes farer, becomes clearer, more blue, and happier’’ (240). Zahra starts loving the city to the extent that she believes that ‘’this big white city, which accommodated all these people from all over the world without complaining, would help her [get pregnant]’’ (188). It is not only Zahra that is affected by the city. At some point in the novel, Magd El-Din feels that ‘’everything around him [is] free except him, who [is being] shackled to Alexandria indefinitely’’ (140). This is similar to what Darley in Justine feels. Unlike Darley, Magd El-Din chooses to go back to Alexandria in the end and feels more comfortable in it. The city is depicted at the end as a place full of
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