English Lesson on Naguib Mahfouz

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THE LESSON ON NAGUIB MAHFOUZ

Try the online quiz, reading, listening, and activities on grammar, spelling and vocabulary for this lesson on Naguib Mahfouz. Click on the links above or see the activities below this article:


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Naguib Mahfouz was born in 1911 and died in 2006. He was an Egyptian novelist and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is considered as the father of modern Arabic literature and is popular throughout the Arab world. Many of his books were about Egyptian nationalism. He said politics “is the very axis of our thinking”.

Mahfouz came from a lower middle-class Muslim family in Cairo, the youngest of seven children. He had a very strict Islamic upbringing. He later wondered how “an artist would emerge from that family". Mahfouz was an avid reader and spent his early years with his head buried in books. His interests included traditional Arab literature and Western classics and detective stories.

He graduated in philosophy from the University of Cairo and decided to be a professional writer. He got a job in the Ministry of Culture, where he stayed until 1972, as a movie censor. While working as a civil servant, Mahfouz wrote 34 novels, 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts and five plays. Many of his works were made into Arabic-language movies.

Mahfouz was not a stranger to controversy. Many Arab countries banned his books because of his support of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. He also supported Salman Rushdie after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini condemned the author to death. Mahfouz received many death threats, and he survived an assassination attempt in 1994. He is the only Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

246 words

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.org/ and assorted biographies.

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SYNONYM MATCH

Match the words from the article on the left with their synonyms on the right. Are your answers the same as other students’?

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

novelist

a.

centre

2

popular

b.

come out

3.

axis

c.

well-liked

4.

upbringing

d.

author

5.

emerge

e.

keen

6.

avid

f.

childhood


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

censor

g.

disputes

8.

civil servant

h.

writings

9.

works

i.

government official

10.

controversy

j.

examiner

11

condemned

k

killing

12

assassination

l

sentenced

PHRASE MATCH

Match the following phrases from the article:

1.

He is considered as the father

a.

censor

2

He said politics “is the very

b.

classics and detective stories

3.

Mahfouz came from a lower

c.

into Arabic-language movies

4.

his head buried

d.

to controversy

5.

Arab literature and Western

e.

middle-class Muslim family

6.

movie

f.

attempt in 1994

7.

Many of his works were made

g.

axis of our thinking”

8.

Mahfouz was not a stranger

h.

in books

9.

Many Arab countries banned

i.

of modern Arabic literature

10.

he survived an assassination

j.

his books

LISTENING GAP FILL

Naguib Mahfouz was born in __________________ 2006. He was an Egyptian novelist and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He __________________ father of modern Arabic literature and is __________________ Arab world. Many of his books were about Egyptian nationalism. He said politics “__________________ thinking”.

Mahfouz came from __________________ Muslim family in Cairo, the youngest of seven children. He had a very strict Islamic upbringing. He later wondered how “an artist would emerge from that family". Mahfouz __________________ and spent his early years with his head __________________. His interests included traditional Arab literature and Western __________________ stories.

He __________________ from the University of Cairo and decided to be a professional writer. He got a job in the Ministry of Culture, where he stayed until 1972, __________________. While working __________________, Mahfouz wrote 34 novels, 350 short stories, dozens of movie scripts and five plays. Many of his __________________ into Arabic-language movies.

Mahfouz was not a __________________. Many Arab countries banned his books __________________ of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. He also supported Salman Rushdie after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini __________________ to death. Mahfouz received many death threats, and he survived __________________ in 1994. He is the only Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

CHOOSE THE CORRECT WORD

Delete the wrong word in each of the pairs in italics.

Naguib Mahfouz was born in 1911 and died / dead in 2006. He was an Egyptian novelist and winner of the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is considered as / was the father of modern Arabic literature and is popular thought / throughout the Arab world. Many of his books were about Egyptian nationalism. He said politics “is the very axis / axe of our thinking”.

Mahfouz came from a lower middle-class Muslim family in Cairo, the youngest of seven children. He had a very strict / strictly Islamic upbringing. He later wondered how “an artist would emerge from that family". Mahfouz was an amid / avid reader and spent his early years with his head buried / bury in books. His interests included traditional Arab literature and Western classics / classical and detective stories.

He graduated in philosophy from the University of Cairo and decided to be a professional writer. He got a job in the Ministry of Culture, where he stayed / staid until 1972, as a movie sensor / censor. While working as a civil servant, Mahfouz wrote 34 novels, 350 short stories, dozens / dozen of movie scripts and five plays. Many of his workings / works were made into Arabic-language movies.

Mahfouz was not a stronger / stranger to controversy. Many Arab countries banned his books because of his support of Egypt’s peace / piece treaty with Israel. He also supported Salman Rushdie after Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini condemned the author to dead / death. Mahfouz received many death threats, and he survival / survived an assassination attempt in 1994. He is the only Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

SPELLING

The underlined, jumbled words are from the text. Spell them correctly.

Paragraph 1
 

1.

an Egyptian lontevsi

2.

the father of odermn Arabic literature

3.

pualopr throughout the Arab world

4.

He said iliotcps “is the very axis of our thinking”


Paragraph 2
 

5.

Mahfouz came from a lower emdldi-class Muslim family

6.

the useytong of seven children

7.

Mahfouz was an avid raeder

8.

edcvtteei stories


Paragraph 3
 

9.

He graduated in ishphlyoop

10.

a movie oersnc

11.

dnzseo of movie scripts

12.

his okwrs


Paragraph 4
 

13.

Mahfouz was not a reagnsrt to controversy

14.

Many Arab countries bnaend his books

15.

death tetsrah

16.

he survived an assassination pttmeta

PUT THE TEXT BACK TOGETHER

Number these lines in the correct order.

(    )

 

Khomeini condemned the author to death. Mahfouz received many death threats, and he survived

(    )

 

Mahfouz was not a stranger to controversy. Many Arab countries banned his books because of his

(    )

 

Islamic upbringing. He later wondered how “an artist would emerge from that family". Mahfouz was an avid

(    )

 

support of Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel. He also supported Salman Rushdie after Iran’s Ayatollah

(    )

 

the Arab world. Many of his books were about Egyptian nationalism. He said politics “is the very axis of our thinking”.

(    )

 

servant, Mahfouz wrote 34 novels, 350 short stories, dozens of movie

(    )

 

traditional Arab literature and Western classics and detective stories.

(    )

 

an assassination attempt in 1994. He is the only Arabic-language writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature.

(    )

 

Mahfouz came from a lower middle-class Muslim family in Cairo, the youngest of seven children. He had a very strict

(    )

 

in the Ministry of Culture, where he stayed until 1972, as a movie censor. While working as a civil

(    )

 

scripts and five plays. Many of his works were made into Arabic-language movies.

(    )

 

Nobel Prize for Literature. He is considered as the father of modern Arabic literature and is popular throughout

(    )

 

He graduated in philosophy from the University of Cairo and decided to be a professional writer. He got a job

( 1 )

 

Naguib Mahfouz was born in 1911 and died in 2006. He was an Egyptian novelist and winner of the 1988

(    )

 

reader and spent his early years with his head buried in books. His interests included

SCRAMBLED SENTENCES

With your partner, put the words back into the correct order.

1.

literature    Arabic    modern    of    father    the

2.

Many    nationalism    Egyptian    about    were    books    his    of

3.

lower   class   Mahfouz   a   -   family   from   middle   Muslim   came

4.

Islamic    He    a    strict    upbringing    had    very

5.

years    head    books    early    his    in    his    with    buried    spent

6.

servant   ,  Mahfouz   wrote   While   working   34   as   a   civil   novels

7.

-    were    language    made    movies    into    his    Arabic    works

8.

Mahfouz    not    stranger    controversy    was    a    to

9.

books    his    banned    countries    Arab    Many

10.

1994    survived    assassination    in    he    an    attempt

NAGUIB MAHFOUZ DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

1.

What do you know about Naguib Mahfouz?

2.

Would you like to have met Naguib Mahfouz?

3.

What would you like to know about Naguib Mahfouz and why?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

------------------------------------

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

1.

What did you learn from this text about Naguib Mahfouz?

2.

What questions would you like to have asked Naguib Mahfouz?

3.

What would his answers have been to those questions?

4.

___________________________________________________

5.

___________________________________________________

6.

___________________________________________________

7.

___________________________________________________

8.

___________________________________________________

NAGUIB MAHFOUZ SURVEY

Write five questions about Naguib Mahfouz in the table. Do this in pairs/groups. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.

Without your partner, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1

_____________

STUDENT 2

_____________

STUDENT 3

_____________

Q.1.

 

 

 

 

Q.2.

 

 

 

 

Q.3.

 

 

 

 

Q.4.

 

 

 

 

Q.5.

 

 

 

 

Return to your original partner(s) and share and talk about what you found out.  Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

WRITING

Write about Naguib Mahfouz for 10 minutes. Show your partner your paper. Correct each other’s work.

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.

2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find more information about Naguib Mahfouz. Talk about what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.

3. NAGUIB MAHFOUZ POSTER: Make a poster showing the different stages of the life of Naguib Mahfouz. Show your poster to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all find out similar things?

4. MAGAZINE ARTICLE: Write a magazine article about Naguib Mahfouz. Include an imaginary interview with him. Write about what he did every day and what he thought about.

Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.

5. LETTER: Write a letter to Naguib Mahfouz. Ask him three questions about his life. Tell him how important he is in today’s world. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your “Naguib Mahfouz expert” partner(s) will try and answer your questions.

ANSWERS

SYNONYM MATCH:

Paragraphs 1 and 2
 

 

 

1.

novelist

a.

author

2

popular

b.

well-liked

3.

axis

c.

centre

4.

upbringing

d.

childhood

5.

emerge

e.

come out

6.

avid

f.

keen


Paragraphs 3 and 4
 

 

 

7.

censor

g.

examiner

8.

civil servant

h.

government official

9.

works

i.

writings

10.

controversy

j.

disputes

11

condemned

k

sentenced

12

assassination

l

killing

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

He is considered as the father

a.

of modern Arabic literature

2

He said politics “is the very

b.

axis of our thinking”

3.

Mahfouz came from a lower

c.

middle-class Muslim family

4.

his head buried

d.

in books

5.

Arab literature and Western

e.

classics and detective stories

6.

movie

f.

censor

7.

Many of his works were made

g.

into Arabic-language movies

8.

Mahfouz was not a stranger

h.

to controversy

9.

Many Arab countries banned

i.

his books

10.

he survived an assassination

j.

attempt in 1994

ALL OTHER EXERCISES:

Look at the text in "THE READING / TAPESCRIPT" section at the top of this page.

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