You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Throughout the seminar, one of the works that I found to be particularly poignant was The Beggar’s Strike, due to the way in which the novel presented a contrast between the way the teachings of Islam regard the poor through the encouragement of altruism and the way in which the characters who have attained a position of power, Mour Ndiaye and Keba Dabo, view the impoverished majority in their region. I found it highly ironic that although one of Islam’s fundamental five pillars is “zakat”, or charity, these two characters, both of whom ostensibly espouse values of Islam, are evidently reluctant to understand the plight of the impoverished, regarding them as subhuman and criticizing them for begging. In addition, the two characters would continually plan raids in an effort to rid society of the impoverished, whom they take to be a “problem”. Furthermore, in the novel, even the wealthy who chose to give to their impoverished counterparts did so out of selfishness, as these actions had been carried out in the hopes of being seen as a better Muslim or to win God’s favors. As I found significant, Mour only espoused altruistic notions when he thought that in doing so, he would be able to attain a position of power. In reading the novel, I was immediately struck by this paradoxical situation and wanted to represent it creatively. In this blog entry, I drew the beggars standing in the background of image with Mour, meant to represent a cruel, authoritative figure, in the front ignoring their pleas.Image 2

Leave a Comment

Log in