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Sara Surani's Creative Portfolio

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“Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” –Oscar Wilde   Identity. Without our own sense of self, who are we?   Although I learned many lessons from my time in Muslim Voices in Contemporary World Literature, the most important lesson I learned is […]

Posted at: December 7th, 2014 - 10:08 am - Comments Off on Identity and Perspective

How can a color, like red, or yellow, or blue form opinions so strong that they differentiate me from you? Black, white, everything in between: What is the difference between what is felt and what is seen? After decades and days and moments of trying, The struggles, The strifes, The protests, The troubles The oppressive […]

Posted at: December 6th, 2014 - 3:57 am - Comments Off on Everything in Between

Samina Ali’s Madras on Rainy Days addresses concepts of gender, sexuality, and society. In the novel, Layla and Sameer are forced into a union of marriage by their parents’ wishes. However, their commitments are not to one another. Sameer is homosexual and desires to live in America to finally be free of societal repressions. He […]

Posted at: December 4th, 2014 - 9:06 pm - Comments Off on Perspective

IMG_9011 While reading The Qassi Lamp, many questions piqued my interest. The story addressed the perceived controversy between religion and science. Going to a school like Harvard, where only 6% of the undergraduate class categorizes itself as “very religious” and 35% of the class is agnostic, the doubt many have for religion is somewhat contagious. […]

Posted at: November 29th, 2014 - 10:13 pm - Comments Off on The Lamp

The Wedding of Zein explores the importance of education in creating an identity for oneself. For example, in the novel, the Imam’s education is the backbone for his authority and power. Knowing about the world around you and being a worldly person significantly enhances the perspective others have of you. In order to reflect this […]

Posted at: November 29th, 2014 - 10:09 pm - Comments Off on Reflective Knowledge

In society, women are often viewed as inferior. Not just in Eastern societies, but also in Western societies. It is not said, but many aspects of modern culture suggest otherwise. Names of poems, like We Sinful Women, cater to the perception most have of women. Sin. Desire. Lust. Temptress. All are words associated with women. […]

Posted at: November 12th, 2014 - 5:09 am - Comments Off on Her Eyes

Persepolis provides the story of a young girl named Marji in Iran during the 1980s. As a young girl, she is exposed to many different aspects of life that a child in a peaceful country would not normally be exposed to. Marji’s parents are activists and regularly attend political protests. To me, the most intriguing […]

Posted at: November 12th, 2014 - 4:07 am - Comments Off on Small Child in a Big World

MVICWL – Small Although An Egyptian Childhood proposes various thoughts that emphasize a wide range of themes, one theme that struck me in particular was the importance of music in Egyptian society. In the story, the boy explains of how music speaks to him and he recalls how the laments and eulogies of his mother […]

Posted at: October 27th, 2014 - 7:17 am - Comments Off on A Song of the Soul

In Sow Fall’s The Beggar’s Strike, Fall expresses how beggars are a integral part of society. Much like a doctor, or a teacher, or a maid, begging is also an occupation that helps bring home money in order to feed the mouths of hungry children. The story also emphasizes the juxtaposition of dishonesty between the […]

Posted at: October 23rd, 2014 - 5:59 am - Comments Off on Open Hands to Closed Hearts

In Naguib Mahfouz’s Children of the Alley, Mahfouz tells the story of sons of Gebelawi who try to restore social justice in the alley outside Gebelawi’s grand estate. Interestingly, God is represented as Gebelawi and each of his sons is an allusion of a revered prophet from one of the three Abrahamic religions. I think […]

Posted at: October 15th, 2014 - 1:59 am - Comments Off on We Are One