Tag Archives: al-Tahtawi

Representations of the West in Al-Tahtawi, Al-Hakim, and Awad (Published)

The paper investigates the representations of the West in three Egyptian texts written in Arabic. These are Rifa’a al-Tahtawi’s A Paris Profile, Tawfiq al-Hakim’s A Sparrow from the East, and Louis Awad’s Memoirs of a Scholarship Student within the framework of the Postcolonial theories of Franz Fanon, Edward Said, and Homi Bhabha. Instead of a confrontation between the West and the East along the lines of Fanon and Said, the three texts reveal the possibility of a dialogue, enriching the attempt at introducing Modernity along European lines in Egypt which was made by Muhammad Ali in the early years of the nineteenth century. The dialogue, however, rests upon paradigms other than Bhabha’s notion of Third Space. Hence, the three texts challenge the dichotomy devised by Fanon, the stereotypes identified by Said and the fluidity and vagueness of identity propagated by Bhabha.

Keywords: Modernization, al-Hakim; Awad, al-Tahtawi, postcolonial theory; East/West relations, third space