The Middle East map has undergone a remarkable change since the rise of geopolitical borders in the early twentieth century. These borders constructed by colonial powers and maintained by postcolonial ones have not only divided the region into nation-states but have also entailed boundaries between people on the basis of national, cultural, linguistic and religious differences. This study examines how borders and boundaries are contested and subverted in two Third World narrative productions set in the Middle East: In an Antique Land (1992) by the Indian-Bengali writer Amitav Ghosh and Ra'aytu RÄ m AllÄ h (1997), a memoir by the Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti (translated as I Saw Ramallah  by the Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif). In the light of Edward Said's recurrent reference to the interlink between narrative and geopolitics, this comparative study examines how histories in both works challenge spatial and temporal configurations interlocked with these boundariesâ histories that are left out of mainstream narratives. Both works contest geopolitical maps enforced by power structures by foregroundingâ what Joel Migdal callsâ â people's mental maps.â This study examines Ghosh and Barghouti's shared subversive approach to this issue but also highlights instances where they depart in terms of worldview and stylistic approach. Moreover, it sheds light on the subversive role of literary and stylistic elements in both works thereby revealing the overlap between the two texts. This study crosses disciplinary boundaries and reveals how literature bears on geopolitics through two works that uncover multiple maps of the region.
English & Comparative Literature Department
MA in English & Comparative Literature
Date of Award
Online Submission Date
Abdel sser, Tahia
Library of Congress Subject Heading 1
Library of Congress Subject Heading 2
Ghosh, Amitav -- Travel -- Egypt.
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Abd El-Barr, R.
(2011).Remapping borders and boundaries in the Middle East: Amitav Ghosh and Mourid Barghouti [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Abd El-Barr, Reem Yasser Zaki. Remapping borders and boundaries in the Middle East: Amitav Ghosh and Mourid Barghouti. 2011. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.