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Naguib Mahfouz 1911-2006 in his short story Zaabalawi depicts the eponymous sheikh as a spiritual entity Along his journey to find Zaabalawi the main character who remains unnamed throughout notices many of modern Egyptian societys flaws Mahfouzs main statement is that because religion is no longer held in importance to the point where it is absent in Egypt such corruptions in the social and political spheres have taken place The main journey also indicates that in order to better society and move forward the people must undergo a similar search for God Nostalgic views of the past will only affect this progress in a paralytic manner In1952 Gamal Abdel Nasser and MuhammedNaguib led the Free Officers Movement a group of officers from the Egyptian and Sudanese armies in a coup dtat This became known as Black Saturday a day characterized by massive riots and numerous fires in Cairo Although the uprising initially sought to overthrow King Farouk the revolution ultimately led to the abolition of a constitutional monarchy and the establishment of the Egyptian-Sudanese kingdom as a republic The movement also saw the end of British colonization in Egypt and the independence of Sudan from the kingdom Although initially Mahfouz was optimistic of the regime shift he found that little improvement had actually taken place in the lives of the people He began publishing works that were considered highly radical including those that openly criticized the Nasser regime and personified God as a social reformer From this point on Mahfouz usually included social and political themes in his writings First a few things that carry significance must be noted The word Sheikh possesses a double meaning the first of which is used primarily as an honorific title to refer to the leader of an Islamic society When translated literally it means governor or leader The second definition describes a religious leader in Sufism who is authorized to teach or to guide novices Mahfouz has purposely
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