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Return Of The Pharaoh Book Review

902 words - 4 pages

‘Return of the Pharaoh’ is the English version of the prison memoirs of Zainab al-Ghazali. The book aims to expose to the world the cruelties and savagery she had to suffer at the hands of the Nasir regime. Zainab al-Ghazali was one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the founder of the Muslim Ladies Group. While the Brotherhood held a pan-Islamic view and worked towards incorporating Islam as a way of life rather than a religion, the Muslim Ladies Group trained women for the same purpose and also participated in welfare and relief activities. The title of the book is extremely interesting; it reflects the utter contempt the author holds towards Nasir, and vice versa. Her hatred ...view middle of the document...

The other continually recurring scene is when the officers, jailers try to make her “confess” her attempt to assassinate Nasir and write down the statement they want her to make, in exchange for a ministerial post in the government and their insistence that they are there to “help” her. She never once fulfils this wish of theirs and is punished with a variety of tortuous acts, which include (but are not limited to) flogging, hanging on a rod and get lashed if she falls down due to exhaustion, having to face a huge fire and get lashed if she turns away and sitting in a water-filled cell with the water at chin-level for no less than 8 days straight. Both the attempts to rape her fail miserably and the “beasts” give up these attempts. In other hair-raising means of torture, Zainab is thrown before starved hounds, snakes and rats. Events that would break even a strong man fail to weaken Zainab; she only gets stronger and bolder with every lash of the whip. Her faith in the purity of her intentions help her deal with every form of torture. Perhaps the biggest miracle is when hounds starved for three days refuse to touch her, leaving her and the disbelieving guards shocked. In a similar incident, rats meant to attack her leave the room when she is thrown in. Nasir’s followers, whom she calls “disbelievers” further prove her point by seeing red whenever Zainab mentions Allah or something Islamic. They are characterised by constant swearing, declaring Nasir to be more powerful than Allah, and a desire to...

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