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Ageing in the Modern Arabic Novel$
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Samira Aghacy

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781474466752

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474466752.001.0001

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Ageing in Traditional Neighbourhoods: Conformity and Transgression

Ageing in Traditional Neighbourhoods: Conformity and Transgression

(p.20) 1 Ageing in Traditional Neighbourhoods: Conformity and Transgression
Ageing in the Modern Arabic Novel

Samira Aghacy

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter reads ageing within traditional families and local communities. It examines novels by Fuad al-Takarli, Alia Mamdouh and Inaam Kachachi. These works present the ageing process as shaped by paternalistic and hierarchical structures where family support is high. The emphasis is on social and religious values, where the male patriarch retains his social and economic position and his power as head of the household. The women are sedentary creatures who place no priority on sex or physical appearance and remain generally passive and marginal. The body is disregarded in favor of the cultivation of the spirit where personal needs are virtually nonexistent. For these women, agency is achieved in nurturing and service to the family and community. While the degree of freedom the women possess varies, they attain agency within the narrow precincts of family and environment.

Keywords:   family, paternalistic, local communities, nurturing, religious, stoical, agency, patriarch, hierarchical

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