Friday, October 30, 2009

Leo Africanus

Leo Africanus is a fictional story which describes the life of Amin Maalouf. It starts
off at his birth and follows his life in Granda and Fez during the 1500s. Amin's birth was a
great accomplishment of his mother Salma; this was because it made her more than just a
mistress to her husband Warda. Later on in the reading the narrator tells us that Abu'l Hasan'
Ali lost his position as sultan. He sent groups of troops to go and fight Christian areas which
began a war that the Muslims had no chance in winning. Granada was surrounded and the Castilians control everything. Many people were asked to give their insight on what the sultan should do. Finally the secretary to the sultan said that their best hope was to surrender. When they surrendered the Castilians took over the entire city and forced the Muslims to flee.

I thought that the ties between everyday life, religion and spiritually were extremely interesting. Salma was a main believe in holiness and the powers that it possessed so she reached out to many people who could help her acquire it. She went to a women and received a potion from her which was grant her a child. She doesn't hesitate to take it and in theory it works. In today's standards the thought of using potions and magical people are only read about in books. Not many people would expect a child from a sip of a liquid. But then again in today's world there are many different amazing things that occur that can be though of as "magical". Perhaps its the modern day mysticism that we all ignore?


  1. Hey Lauren, I think Amin Maalouf is trying to tell the story of the obscure historical figure Leo Africanus, not of himself.

  2. I don't think it is that people chose to "ignore" the "magical" things that happen in life, I believe that people simply just don't "believe" in them anymore. Potions & Powers - are you kidding me?! Granted, there are a select few people in today's world that may still attempt to use them, but I for one - don't believe in any of that for one second.