Children of Gebelawi by Naguib Mahfouz

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Children of Gebelawi, is a novel by the Egyptian writer and Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz. It is also known by its Egyptian dialectal transliteration, Awlad Haretna, formal Arabic transliteration, Awlaadu Haaratena and by the alternative translated transliteral Arabic title of "Children of the Alley". The story recreates the tied history of the three monotheistic Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam), allegorised against the setting of an imaginary 19th century Cairene neighborhood. Gabalawi being an allegory for religion in general, the first four sections retell, in succession, the stories of: Adam (Adham أدهم) and how he was favored by Gabalawi over the latter's other sons, including Satan/Iblis (Idris إدريس); Moses (Gabal جبل); Jesus (Rifa'a رفاعة); and Muhammad (Qasim قاسم). Families of each son settle in different parts of the alley, symbolising Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The protagonist of the book's fifth section, Arafa (عرفة), who symbolises modern science and, significantly, comes after all prophets while all of their followers claiming Arafa as one of their own.

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The 379th greatest fiction book of all time


This book is on the following lists:

  1. - Top 100 Works in World Literature (Norwegian Book Clubs, with the Norwegian Nobel Institute)

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