Interpretations of history in early twenty-first century Arabic fiction

A critical analysis of Al-Saqqaf's Qissat Irhabi

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1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This essay is motivated by the issue of terrorism as mirrored in early twenty-first century Arabic fiction, particularly after the 9/11 attacks and the US occupation of Iraq. We examine the interpretations of terrorism in Hussein al-Saqqaf's Qissat Irhabi (2007) with the aim of exploring the treatment of recent history and also uncovering the ideologies, viewpoints and cultural nuances that prevail in Arabic fiction. By appropriating the theory of hermeneutics, from which the concept of interpretation is derived, the novel's utilisation of some historical events and issues can be made clear. This is because "interpretation" refers to a text's explanations and exploration of other texts. Our analysis shows that al-Saqqaf displays Judeophobic characteristics where he casts aspersions on the Jews, rabbis, Jewish fanaticism and Jewish terrorists whom he names "the Sicarii." He attributes terrorism to them. Being an Arab and a Muslim, al-Saqqaf exhibits the feelings and opinions of the ordinary Arab and Muslim people who indeed believe that the Arab and Muslim terrorist groups are masterminded by superpower Jews. Although al-Saqqaf's predisposition in his fictional account is attributed to his roots and faith, it also shows the reality of distrust between the Arabs and Jews.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-420
Number of pages14
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Fingerprint

interpretation of history
Jew
twenty-first century
terrorism
Muslim
interpretation
fanaticism
rabbi
hermeneutics
Iraq
Ideologies
faith
Arab
utilization
event
history
Critical Analysis
Terrorism
Jews
History of Interpretation

Keywords

  • 9/11
  • Iraq
  • Jews
  • Judeophobia
  • Sicarii
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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