The Image of the Other: Representations of East-West Encounters in Anglo-American and Arabic Novels (1991-2001)
Al-Malik, Ahmed Mukhtar Tweirsh
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The Second Gulf War (1990-1991) brought about huge transformations in the relationships between the Western and Arab world. The invasion of Kuwait in August 1990 and deployment of American-led Western troops in Saudi Arabia brought the Arab world to the top of the Western agenda. The presence of mostly non-Muslim Western troops in Saudi Arabia, which is home to the holy sites of Islamic people, triggered mixed reactions among Arab people and polarised their relationships with the West. These developments left a huge impact on literature and the shaping of the imagery of the Other in fiction. This thesis began as an attempt to study the impact of the Second Gulf War on the depiction the Image of the Other. The research rests on conducting an analysis of how the West-Arab encounters are being perceived in Anglo-American and Arabic fiction (1991-2001). The study considers six fictional works from the Anglo-American world: Friends, Lovers, Enemies (1991) by Barbara Victor, Innocent Blood (1997) by Christopher Dickey, I Know Many Songs But I Cannot Sing (1996) by Brian Kiteley, Hideous Kinky (1992) by Esther Freud, Virgins of Paradise (1993) by Barbara Wood, and Falling for the Sheikh by Carole Grace (2001). The study also focuses on six works from the Arab world: Bahãa Ţãhir’s (Ңubb fi-l-manfã) Love in Exile (1995), Ibrãhīm Ãḥmad’s (Ţufl al-CNN) The CNN Child (1996), Yūsuf al-‘Īlah’s (Ghazal al-dhãkirah) The Memory Spinning (2000), Ãḥmad Ibrãhîm Al-Faqīh’s (al-Thulãthiya) Gardens of the Night (1995), and Ңanãn al-Shaykh’s (Innahã London Yã ‘Azīzī) Only in London (2001) and Bahãa al-Dīn al-Ţawd’s (al-Ba‘īdūn) Those Who Are Far Away. These writers have been studied in the belief that they demonstrate the shaping of the East-West encounters. Writers from both cultures place their cultural concerns within a national framework that they constantly negotiate. Nevertheless, the thesis challenge is to pinpoint the complex web of factors that characterised each culture. Hence, this study seeks to contribute in showing how these writers are engaged in the process of reconstructing, adjusting and even transcending the stereotypes of their cultures.
PhD in Arabic and Islamic Studies