Many people endeavored to comprehend the revolutionary implications of globalization as it continues to evolve in an ordinary arena of political expression across the globe. Impacts of globalization yielded significant results. The world was made up of global interrelatedness that kept on evolving continuously since the First World War.
This was because the subject was organized by comprehensible and intelligible principles. The prime principle was featured by interconnected holistic phenomenon. The conscientious citizenship needed to perceive the global interrelationship whereby the world was marked with inclusive model of integration; the world explored several events and issues based in global linkages.
This paper examined four themes of global evolution as indicated in Mahfouz Naguib’s book Midaq Alley. First, since 1914, the world was featured by global integration and its changing patterns that led to: immense colonies and powers, the three worlds of Cold War eras, and the current interdependent and networked of “global disorder”. Secondly, the world was marked by differences and identities that showed how various endeavors of people, groups and communities affirmed their identities; a struggle that happened in the entire history.
As a matter of fact, Naguib pose the question “Did you know that making a person appear crippled is a thousand times more difficult than really crippling him” (Naguib 127). Indeed, across the novel, differences and identities are reflected into manifold layers of debatable politics concerning religion, gender, nationalism, class, ethnicity, and personal interests. In fact, “the recitation of the Qur’an, and forgiveness is honorable punishment for violating the Qur’an is harsh, you know” (146).
Thirdly, the world was manifested with emergence of mass society not only in terms of social interaction: mass culture, mass welfare, mass consumerism, and mass communication, but also in numerical sense of unique population increase. Alone, a man becomes vulnerable.
Indeed, the author poses, “What do I see; you are indeed a venerable man?” (126). The world was marked with nature verses technology that was uncertain achievement which empowered human beings to ruin the world or to make life unbearable. Thus, in such a society, “no sensible person would persist in trying her luck if it looked bad” (19).
Nature Verses Technology
Technological advancement caused environmental destruction through human overpopulation and deforestation. Mafouz asserts, “had I not simply let the devil amuse himself with my neighbors while I remained lost in my own complacent joy? Cannot a good man unknowingly be an accomplice of the devil by keeping to himself?” (279). During post colonialism, there was determination to promote agro-technology in order to preserve environment.
Farmers were advised to use diverse contemporary crops in the same farm. “Let’s remember today, the day when we got acquainted, as a day of great good fortune,” (50). It further poses the question “Are only the rich worthy of one’s choice” (138). Furthermore, Science transformed agriculture; however, ordinary insight and knowledge was able to sustain productivity. Industrial revolution in Europe, though transformed human livelihood, caused detrimental effects on ecological system.
For instance, the era of the First World War was a detrimental time because it was a moment of invention of nuclear weapons. The growth of technology and science transformed global networking and human society. However, it is vital to note that “shrouds are the veils of after-life. Enjoy your shroud before the shroud enjoys you” (20). In addition, multicultural Corporations were exploiting developing nations, and minimized wage rates while exploiting natural resources in those nations.
Global Integration and Its Changing Patterns
Mahfouz claimed that people were able to choose contest matches they wished to view without being restricted to view sports such as gymnastics, swimming, track and field, diving, etc that dominated prime time coverage of media television.
Due to global interrelatedness, sports opened the world and provided important features of globalization. However, global integration happened gradually for many centuries. The press media informed and exposed people about important events. The evolving technology enabled provision of internet accessibility.
According Mahfouz, human evolving pattern involved various regional systems which promoted interaction and competition. For instance, Ottoman Empire expanded its kingdom over Hungary and Balkans between 1300 and 1922. Many States engaged in interaction was linked by social and economic needs.
Mahfouz viewed that China was the supreme economic power that exported vast amount of porcelain, tea, silk etc. The economic progress of China and India were huge due to the fact that their demographic population was enormous. Transoceanic expansion gradually developed due to technological advancement. European routes were made into America during the search of economic power hence sea routes and networks were established.
China was a dominant nation that held forty percent of the world’s economy. Nevertheless, this led to self indulgence as reflected in the life of Kamil. In fact, the author states that “his head topping all this is small, bald and no different in color from his pale yet florid skin….People are always telling him he will die suddenly because of the masses of fat pressing round his heart.
But how will death harm him when his life is merely a prolonged sleep” (12). In addition, persisted competition led to colonial empires to expand their systems. Industrial evolution caused ecological imperialism whereby raw materials, plants and animals were transported from one region to another as people exploited natural resources. African slaves were captured during the transoceanic migration after1800.
Indeed, many African slaves participated in plantations of agricultural fields. Mahfouz asserted that there were a lot of economic affairs that took place; for example, exotic plants and animals were introduced while indigenous animals and plants were exported from America.
Besides that, factors that led to quick European expansion in United States did not, however, occurred in Asia and Africa. For instance, Europeans were marred by infectious diseases in Africa that hindered their progress in exploiting African resources. Though, Europeans managed to reap resources from Africa, many died due to environmental hazards.
The Evolution of the Mass Society
Human population who lived in the twentieth century caused increase in mass community that was contributed by people’s interaction and movements for economic sustainability. All these implications were closely integrated that led to the rise of mass community.
Though, human population developed slowly prior to 1750; afterwards human demography progressed rapidly. Mahfouz viewed that the rise in mass community happened due to increase in democratization, urbanization and industrialization.
This immense transformation was an essential focus in the current society. Politics, youth culture, media, leisure and welfare were five distinctive features that were manifested in the modern society. Actually, mass society weakened traditional societal values; industrial revolution weakened aristocratic and traditional values. Mass culture was a society that had social, large scale and impersonal institutions.
Identity and Difference
Gradually human communities became varied with great differences in beliefs, artifacts and languages. For instance, Mr. Kirsha who owned the coffee shop is described as a homosexual and indulges in hashish. “Mr. Kirsha had always lived a most irregular life and he had rolled in its dirt so long that it appeared to him a perfectly normal one”(55). Archeological evidence showed varied tools used by ancient people and their cultural values were greatly varied.
Human cultures were comprehended based on symbols of various devices that people created. Mahfouz affirmed that such cultural icons lacked boundaries but were marked with continues influx that competed and interacted in each other. Kirsha defends his homosexuality by retorting to Radwan that, “don’t you know who that boy is? He is a poor boy whose poverty I am trying to alleviate by being charitable to him”(106).
In fact, religious civilization transformed people who lived in remote areas; human interaction transformed people who were perceived as barbarians and uncivilized. According to Mahfouz, Sheik Darwish, who was affected following changes in the ministry of education, lived in consolation of religion and faith in God! He was in “a state of peace, contentment and beatitude as he had never known before.
Even though he had lost his house, the whole world had become his home. Even though he had lost his salary, gone too was his dependence on money. Though he had lost his family and friends, everyone he met became his family”(23). Societal rulers presided over divine duties to people in the society. Most cities developed thus their operation became complex that was administered by centralized governance.
The four themes brought ultimate query to prime of all historical world, particularly to the current globalization. Human interaction and competition elevated visions of human society. However, this was threatened by sudden changes in the social systems of the society. This brought questions on how people need to stay together and to attain their needs equitably, without involving in overindulgence, selfishness, myopia.
Mahfouz, Naguib. Midaq Alley. New York: Ancher Books, 1996. Print.