Mahfouz and Al-Aswany are recognized as major figures not only in Egypt but also worldwide, making them and the sensitive nature of their work doubly fraught: they are not only in the world’s literary spotlight, but under the watchful gaze of local observers. Midaq Alley (1947) and The Yacoubian Building (2005) reflect through many motifs, including homosexuality, the political as well as social repressions that inhibit the modern Egyptian society. These two novels underwent translation and adaptation because of not only Mahfouz's and Al-Aswany's skillful craft, but also the presentation of characters—that the readers or audience can identify with—living and experiencing the unspoken taboo of (homo)sexuality. Since homosexuality is more than a motif, the translation of homosexuality from one language to another, from one culture to another, and from one medium to another, is of extreme importance. In the translations of Midaq Alley and The Yacoubian Building, although Humphrey Davies and Trevor Le Gassick use different approaches, that is, foreignization and domestication, respectively, both translators succeed in their missions. Although translation and movie adaptation share similar features, there are still major differences between translation and adaptation. This thesis attempts to define movie adaptation, compare it with translation, and then demonstrate how homosexuality in Midaq Alley and The Yacoubian Building is adapted into motion picture in Egypt and beyond the borders of Egypt—the later represented in the Mexican movie adaptation of Midaq Alley: "El Callejón de los Milagros."


English & Comparative Literature Department

Degree Name

MA in English & Comparative Literature

Graduation Date


Submission Date

December 2013

First Advisor

Motlagh, Amy

Committee Member 1

Ghazoul, Ferial

Committee Member 2

Abdel sser, Tahia


54 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Homosexuality in literature.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Maḥfūẓ, jīb, 1911-2006 -- History and criticism.


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Foremost, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to my advisor and professor Dr. Amy Motlagh for her patience, effort, motivation, and immense knowledge. Her guidance helped me in all the research and writing of this thesis. Besides my advisor, I would like to thank the rest of my thesis committee: Professors Ferial Ghazoul and Tahia Abdel sser, for their encouragement and insightful comments. It has been my pleasure and honor to have someone as passiote and helpful as Dr. Ghazoul on my committee. My sincere thanks and appreciation also goes to Professor Vassiliki Kotini as she inspires me on the academic, professiol, and persol levels. I also thank my fellow ECLT colleagues and friends: Safiz Saad, Mohga Hassib, Samaa Ayman, Mushira Sabry, Jailan Al-Sharif, and Fatima Al-Zahraa Ahmad for their stimulating discussions, moral support, and love; I have been blessed with such a friendly and cheerful group. Last but not least, I would like to thank my beloved family: my mother Mo Abdel Rahman El-Helw, my materl grandparents, my brother Ramy Salem, and my uncle Ali Abdel Rahman El-Helw for supporting me spiritually and fincially throughout my life after the death of my father. And for my father Ahmed Salem, may his soul rest in peace, I hope that he is proud of me.