Friday, November 20, 2009

End of Leo Africanus

In the final parts of Leo Africanus, we see many somewhat surprising changes in Hassan’s life. Another woman is introduced into the story, who was formerly practicing to be a nun. She asks the cardinal if she can be excused from the program. Upon her removal from the program, Hassan is asked to marry her.

Following this – the Pope, who Hassan had built quite the relationship with, passed way. Pope Adrian, who is much more conservative in his ways, takes over; and things do not go down between him and Hassan. Pope Adrian decrees that every man must shave their beard, and Hassan refuses. Hassan, among other things done in rebellion, is caught with a pamphlet protesting against the current Pope and is jailed. Pope Adrian is later poisoned, and Hassan is released, and a new Pope takes reign. Eventually, Hassan receives help from a friend – Hans – and is able to make a return to Tunis.

We then moved onto articles focusing on the Middle East/Arab World. I found the articles on the Middle East very interesting. The first article discussed the recent stagnation in Arab politics and predicted a revolution in the very near future. Arab society has been progressing in recent years and modernizing. Bamyeh’s article discusses the three principles of the Muslim world: partial control, free movement, and cultural heteroglossia. He states that in order for these principles to function properly, no authorities can impose orthodoxies on the people. He also says that the authoritarian states in the modern Middle East would not be a possibility if the Islamic system was not affected by Western colonists.

I overall enjoyed Leo Africanus, and hope to read future stories like that in the near future. And as always, reading about the Middle East is quite interesting to me.


  1. I also find history about the Middle East to be very interesting. It is very different from our history and our thoughts and beliefs.

  2. I actually liked reading narratives especially in a class like this ....that is full of facts. and it is nice to have a break from that with an actual story