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Word Count: 1,226
The presence of European thought could be observed in most societies throughout the worlds history Therefore from a historical aspect European culture has affected the Islamic society although not as intensely as it was in the case with other non-Western cultures In the novel Palace Walk Naguib Mahfouz helps to understand how the people of Egypt were affected by the countrys status as a British protectorate In the novel Mahfouz presents a portrait of the Abd al-Jawad clan a devoutly Muslim family living in the old section of Cairo It is also a portrait of a country in transition The whole family is a relic of the old Islamic society which like the country as a whole is being forcibly dragged into the 20th century One may argue however about the extent of influence on middle-class Islamic families and as in this case the influence on the family of Ahmad Abd al-Jawad The isolation of this particular family from the Western culture evolves from the differences in personalities religious beliefs and customs political and economic circumstances between them Much of the novel is concerned with the manner in which Ahmad Abd al-Jawad the head of the household well-respected and likable outside the home conducts his affairs both in the home and outside it He an aggressive controlling father allows no challenge to his authority or any bending of the strict rules of Islam and society and practically dominates the family In his treatment of the members of the household Abd al-Jawad displays an inflexible cast of mind that most Western people have come to consider characteristic of Islam and Muslims The father permits himself any level of excess He is prone to drunken partying and carries on with cabaret girls He is also more concerned with his reputation in the city than he is with the well-being of his family Abd al-Jawad seemed to be almost terrorizing and threatening in his warning
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