Leo Africanus is, so far, the most interesting perspectives on a global society. I’m positive that it is due to my ability to connect with the individual. While I am not Muslim, I have never fasted, my mother is a boldly independent woman, the first person perspective creates a conversation like atmosphere. With this type of source material, a significant amount of biases can be expected. We can already see divisions within the presented culture. For example, he illustrates division between his mother and father, societies division of men and women, division of free and slave women, and even class division.
When Hasan speaks about himself, he never really identifies himself with one culture or nation. But he is constantly classifying others. The passage that stuck with me was:
“I, Hasan the son of Muhammad the weigh-master, I, Jean-Leon de Medici, circumcised at the hand of a barber and baptized at the hand of a pope, I am now called the African, but I am not from Africa, nor from Europe, nor from Arabia. I am also called the Granadan, the Fassi, the Zayyati, but I come from no country, from no city, no tribe. I am the son of the road, my county is the caravan, my life the most unexpected of voyages.”
His life truly is based on reactions to events. He is continuously changed by society rather than society changing for him. When I was googling him, I found numerous photos of him and was interested to see the different perspectives.