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Half A Day by Naguib Mahfouz

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A breakdown presentation of Half A Day by Naguib Mahfouz. It includes a brief profile of Naguib Mahfouz, a summary of the short story and my own explanation.

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Half A Day by Naguib Mahfouz

  1. 1. Half A Day By: Naguib Mahfouz
  2. 2. • Do you remember your first day at school when you were in Kinder garden or in Grade 1?
  3. 3. I bet some were…
  4. 4. Video Presentation
  5. 5. Naguib Mahfouz • was born on December 11, 1911 and died on August 30, 2006, was an Egyptian writer. He is the only Arab writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature. • He published 34 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts, and five plays over a 70-year career. Many of his works have been made into Egyptian and foreign films for example; his novel, “Midaq Alley” (1947), was adapted into a Mexican film, of the same title, starring Salma Hayek. • Half a Day was published in 1989 as a part of a short story collection called, “The False Dawn.”
  6. 6. Naguib Mahfouz
  7. 7. Midaq Alley
  8. 8. Half a Day: A Summary • The story begins with a little boy and his father. They were walking towards the boy’s school for it was the boy’s first day in school. He was nervous and afraid. He was convinced that there was nothing good about going to school. But his father urged him forward saying; “Be a man. Today you truly begin life. You will find me waiting for you when it is time to leave.”
  9. 9. Vocabulary • Tarboosh - a tasseled cap of cloth or felt, usually red, that is worn by Muslim men either by itself or as the inner part of the turban. • Unmarred = mar - to damage or spoil to a certain extent; render less perfect, attractive, useful, etc.; impair or spoil (unmarred would mean the opposite)
  10. 10. Half a Day: A Summary • The boy with hesitation entered the school. He met boys and girls there whom he did not know and who didn’t know him but where curious about him. After the gates closed, the children started crying. Then a lady (teacher) came in and arranged the children into classes saying, “This is your new home. Dry your tears and face life joyfully.”
  11. 11. Half a Day: A Summary • The children then have accepted the fact that they were to stay there for the rest of the day. And with this acceptance, came contentment for the boy made new friends, he fell in love with girls, he played different games, sang songs, learned about language, learned about the world and religion, ate food, took a nap and woke up to do all the same joyful things.
  12. 12. Half a Day: A Summary • But then the boy realized that the path of school was not always happy. There were bumps on the road like pain, hatred, fighting, heartbreak and even the teacher who would scowl and scold then and would resort to physical punishment. The boy learned that he and his friends should be careful as they go on their journey through school.
  13. 13. Vocabulary • Exertion - vigorous action or effort • Throngs - a multitude of people crowded or assembled together; crowd
  14. 14. Half a Day: A Summary • When the bell rang, it signaled the end of the day. He bid farewell to his friends and sweethearts and waited for his father to pick him up but he did not show up. So the boy decided to go home on his own.
  15. 15. Half a Day: A Summary • After a few steps, he stopped. He was shocked because the entire place had changed. There were cars and high buildings everywhere. The gardens and fields have disappeared. Trucks with security troops were crawling the area. Circus people and conjurers were showing tricks and performing. A fire engine was causing traffic. The boy felt like he was going crazy. He said, “How could all this have happened in half a day, between early morning and sunset?”
  16. 16. Vocabulary • Hordes - a large group, multitude, number, etc.; a mass or crowd • Conjurers - a person who conjures spirits or practices magic; magician.
  17. 17. Half a Day: A Summary • He then decided to seek the answers from his father. So he needed to get home but where was home? The boy wondered. He then hurriedly made it to the crossroads. He needed to cross Abu Khoda to get home but how could he cross when a line of cars would not let him?
  18. 18. Vocabulary • Abu Khoda – is an actual street in Cairo located near an elementary school.
  19. 19. Half a Day: A Summary • He was extremely irritated as he waited and wondered when will he be able to cross. Then after a long time of waiting, a young boy who worked at the ironing shop from the corner came up to him and stretched his arm and said, “Grandpa, let me take you across.”
  20. 20. What can we learn from the short story? • This short story reflects on how fast and quick time passes. Yesterday we were little children, today we are teenagers and tomorrow we will be old people. Nowadays, the hours of a day seem to be moving too fast and we do not even notice. Most of us wish for hours to be shorter but when the day passes we wish for longer hours.
  21. 21. What can we learn from the short story? • We are not grateful and appreciative for the minutes we are given everyday. We are lucky that we are given time to do things and be better because for some people, they don’t have enough time. We want to grow up already and be adults. But when we do reach adulthood, we long for our childhood days.
  22. 22. What can we learn from the short story? • The lesson here is to cherish every moment, every second, every minute, every hour, every day, every week, every month and every year because time is not something we can get back. It is not a file that, once deleted, cannot be restored from the recycle bin. We need to make each moment count. “Live for today.”
  23. 23. What can we learn from the short story? • Another reflection is school. The school is not just a place where we learn about reading, writing and etc. It is a place were we are being prepared for life. We are taught to work under pressure and meet deadlines. We learn how to deal with people. We experience pain, heartbreak, happiness and success and many more.
  24. 24. FOOD FOR THOUGHT • We often think that LIFE is too slow. Think again. Life is actually passing by so quick and we don’t even see it. So live for today. • In order for a person to learn, that person must have the willingness to learn. Without it, a person simply just takes education and learning for granted. Be grateful.
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A breakdown presentation of Half A Day by Naguib Mahfouz. It includes a brief profile of Naguib Mahfouz, a summary of the short story and my own explanation.


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