Wednesday, February 28, 2024

The image of the father between two cultures


Al-Hamadani Asad craved for him when he was in Baghdad and I craved fancy “koshari” food when I was in Cairo.. In the middle of the country I met a dear Egyptian friend and we ate fried onions and hot “koshari”. Peppers, then we sat in a nearby cafe and drank coffee. So much so that my friend’s son Atef was born: (“Taifa” smiled at Wushi, (Taifa) smiled at the fan. Logical error in his last sentence, because his son “Taifa” was born already happened.

These memories led us to search for the father figure in our Arab culture and its Western counterpart. Strangely, this is usually reflected in the negative image and representations of paternalism and the father figure as hostile. Cronus, the god of time, eats his children immediately after their birth, forcing the mother to hide from him, thus saving the life of Zeus, who killed this unjust father. The murder of the father is evident in the play “King Oedipus” by Sophocles and in the novel “The Brothers Karamazov” by the Russian author Dostoyevsky.

In our Arabic literature, Abu al-Ala al-Mari (died 1057 AD) blames his father and writes: “This my father did against me, and I did it for no one.” As he says. : “My existence in this world is a crime committed against me by my father. As for me, since I have neither married nor had children, I have not committed this crime against anyone.” Al-Mari’s birth was a tragedy – committed by his father as a crime – and the sad idea here is that the childlessness of the great poet is a service to humanity.

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In European literature, Franz Kafka’s writings reflect his fear of his father and his attempt to escape his grasp, but he cannot, life is impossible without his father, and impossible with his father. Kafka reveals the psychological toll of a tyrannical father and describes the enormity of his disappointment in receiving his love in a November 1919 47-page letter to his father Hermann, who refuses to marry his beloved Phyllis Bauer. ; What causes an engagement to break up? Kafka, 36 at the time, criticizes his father for his harsh behavior, disturbing double standards, and constant resentment.

In the trilogy of Naguib Mahfuz, we meet the role of the father represented by “Si al-Sayed” from tenderness, rudeness, outward care and neglect. In the first part of the trilogy, we see the hero “CL Saeed” – the father, a strong person who believes in loyalty in everything he does and leads his family with strict values ​​and ideals. The children are afraid of him, his wife kneels at his feet, he gets up and relives the scenes of the evening with Sultana and Zubaydah, and he sees no contradiction in showing his grandfather and his strictness. Day and night he hides his immorality and lewdness.

When describing the time of breakfast, the dictator’s father excels in describing his children succinctly and succinctly: “Si al-Sayed” calls to his three sons who sit and wait for the call.

The figure of the father in literature embodies our awareness of the enormity of this human tragedy: the recognition and love of the father is not our right, but a gift and honor from him.

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Visiting Scholar at Harvard University

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Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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