Friday, November 13, 2009

Leo Africanus, Part 3

This book really has captivated me more than the other reads! I really enjoy the story telling, and I think Maalouf does an incredible job of bringing the story to life. Hasan's new life in Cairo is really quite extraordinary, when you take where he initially started in Book I, to now in Book III.

Moreover, I think it's really shocking to realize just how easily people were exiled back in these times, for some really silly reasons really. I mean, now-a-days (or perhaps even to someone who doesn't follow the religion?) they seem silly. Hasan's willingness to stand up for his family should be commended, not discouraged and punished. But, alas, if this did not happen, would we have such a great story afterward? Hasan's exile led him to Cairo, and new places to travel to, stories to tell.

I also think it's really sad what the Ottomans / Turks were doing to the different kind of people. All of the killing (for really no reason), and especially the showing off of the heads and what not. Totally unnecessary! But what's especially disheartening is how commonplace this kind of thing has been throughout history, and even still, it's prevalence in modern day. Throughout our existence and now, we fight and kill people for no reason aside from simple differences in small things, like religion, skin color, birth region, and many other petty things. I wonder if humanity can ever reach the point where we don't kill for petty reasons, or really any reason. We've existed for so long, and failed. What do you guys think?


  1. I agree! This reading is definitely more interesting than the other reads. I agree because it takes us on a personal journey with Leo though his passage through the world system. Killing for petty reasons will continue for as long as we live. This is because people are very ignorant and immoral and they do not give a crap about other people. The world will only get more violent.

  2. i too liked reading this book and I think your question was very interesting. I don't believe that murder will cease at all. It seems like there will always be some diversity in society that will allow people to make irrational judgements and form prejudices that they will use to justify their violent behavior.