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F402 Fall 2018 Understanding Middle East Politics through Literature: Egypt in Mahfouz's Novels

Course number : F402 Fall 2018   
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F402 Fall 2018 Attempting to Understand Middle East Politics through Literature: Egypt in Naguib Mahfouz’s Novels
Mondays, 9:40–11:05, Sept. 17, Oct. 1, Oct. 15, Oct. 29
Four sessions
Notes Dates
Instructor: Heba El-Shazli
Class limit: 20

We will be reading novels by Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006), who is the only Arab writer to have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (in 1988). He opened a window to Arabic literature for world readership. Naguib Mahfouz was a superb, insightful observer and commentator on Egyptian society, history, politics, and economic affairs. He focused on the psychological impact on Egyptian society of political and economic changes over a period of five decades. Mahfouz wrote about taboo social topics as well as the growing decadence of Egypt’s society over the years starting in the Nasser era. By reading the four novels selected for this course, we will travel through Egypt’s history and politics beginning in the 1940s until the assassination of President Sadat in 1981 and after. So please join me on this literary journey to Egypt through the writings of Naguib Mahfouz.
  • Sept. 17: Midaq Alley, Naguib Mahfouz (ISBN: 9780385264761)
  • Oct. 1: Autumn Quail, Naguib Mahfouz (ISBN: 9780385498357)
  • Oct. 15: Karnak Café, Naguib Mahfouz (ISBN: 9780307390455)
  • Oct. 29: The Day the Leader Was Killed, Naguib Mahfouz (ISBN: 9780385499224)
Heba F. El-Shazli is an Egyptian-American and an avid lover and reader of literature from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She is an assistant professor of political science at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government and an adjunct professor at Georgetown University’s master’s degree program at the Center for Democracy and Civil Society. El-Shazli teaches courses on government and politics of the Middle East and North Africa, Islam and politics, international relations, and the role of civil society and social movements in democratization. She has a PhD in government and international affairs from Virginia Polytechnic Institute's School of Public and International Affairs and a master’s degree from Georgetown University. She was the director of MENA programs at the Solidarity Center (2004–2011) and the deputy MENA regional director at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) from 2001 until 2004. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (

Class Details

4 Sessions
Days of the Week :Multiple Days of the Week :
  Weekly - Mon.  
  Weekly - Mon.  
  Weekly - Mon.  
  Weekly - Mon.  

Location : Tallwood Campus Location : 
  Tallwood Campus.

Instructor : Heba El-Shazli 

Class Fee: 


Schedule Information

Date(s) Class Days Times Location Instructor(s)
9/17/2018 - 9/17/2018 Weekly - Mon 9:40 AM - 11:05 AM Fairfax, Tallwood Campus  Map Heba El-Shazli 
10/1/2018 - 10/1/2018 Weekly - Mon 9:40 AM - 11:05 AM Fairfax, Tallwood Campus  Map Heba El-Shazli 
10/15/2018 - 10/15/2018 Weekly - Mon 9:40 AM - 11:05 AM Fairfax, Tallwood Campus  Map Heba El-Shazli 
10/29/2018 - 10/29/2018 Weekly - Mon 9:40 AM - 11:05 AM Fairfax, Tallwood Campus  Map Heba El-Shazli 

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