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Taha Hussein

  • Date Submitted: 12/12/2013 10:11 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 46 
  • Words: 625
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Tâhâ Hussein
Background
  * Born in a poverty stricken village of central Upper Egypt.
Top of Form
  * At age 3 he became blind due to an eye disease
Bottom of Form
  * Very outspoken as a youth. Failed his final examinations at al-Azhar, a mosque university in Cairo, because he opposed the school’s teaching system
  * Studied with European and Egyptian scholars in the field of Arabic and Islamic studies at a secular Egyptian University
  * Won scholarship in 1915 to study in France. There, he married a Frenchwoman, who happened to be his employee.
  * These may be contributing factors to Hussein’s view that Europeans have reached the pinnacle of achievement, and all who hope to reach that end must replicate the means by which Europe reached that end.
Early Life: From the Stream of Days
  * His province ruled by two families of the Sufis
  * The current sheikh—leader—of the family that Taha Hussein’s father and mother pledged loyalty to was known as the pilgrim
      * He was very near to worldly things, and far removed from things of religion
  * This man gave Taha Hussein a blessing, which convinced his father that Taha Hussein was destined to be a great man
  * Hussein’s family held an assembly at a dervish circle for Zikr
      * Zikr is a Sufi observance in which the name of God is mentioned repeatedly.
      * Dervish simply means sufi
  * In this circle, one of the reciters made a mistake, and the sheikh frothed, foamed, and cursed the mens’ fathers and their fathers’ fathers.
      * The people immediately took this as a bad omen
  * From his father’s laugh, after the sheikh had left, Taha Hussein realized that his parents faith in this sheikh were not “free from doubt and contempt.”
      * This custom took a heavy burden on this family, which was relatively poor
      * Taha Hussein realized this tradition as an inescapable evil, done only to meet the desire of the people
  * Hussein’s Conclusion: “The country...

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