Religion and politics: On the motif of blindness in Abd al-Mālik Nūrīs "rih. al-janub" and Gha.ib Tu.mah Farman's " .Ammi .abburni"

Hilla Peled-Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article aims at presenting a unique use of the motif of blindness in two Iraqi short stories from the 1950s: "Rih. al-janub" (South Wind) by .Abd al-Malik Nuri and ".Ammi .abburni" (Please Sir, Help Me Cross the Street) by Gha.ib Tu.mah Farman. Nuri and Farman belonged to the literary milieu in Baghdad of the mid-twentieth century and this article argues that through the motif of blindness they criticized their environment, the Iraqi regime and the clerics of their times. The article presents an outline of the political and social background of that period and offers an explanation for the specific choice of the motif of blindness by these writers and the object of their criticism: while Nuri was a government official, Farman was a persecuted Communist intellectual. Thus, Farman criticized the regime through depictions of the city and of the plight of the simple man, especially the needy blind who depend on other people's help, while Nuri, who did not want a confrontation with officialdom, focused his criticism on the clerics in particular, who exploit the poor by taking their money in order to supposedly cure them.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-393
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Arabic Literature
Volume44
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • EAbd al-Malik Nuri
  • GhaEib TuEmah Farman
  • Iraq
  • blindness
  • clerics
  • criticism
  • politics
  • saints

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