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Gender in an Allegorical Life of Muḣammad: Mahfouz's Children of Gebelawi

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He was much moved by her gentleness and affection, as he was whenever he was lucky enough to meet her. It was an affection of a kind he had never known except from what he had heard about mother-love. If his mother had lived she would have been about this woman's age, about forty. How wonderful this quality seemed in an alley that took pride in strength and violence. The only thing more wonderful was her shy beauty and the joy it breathed into him. It was not like the hot-blooded adventures in the desert with their blind, burning hunger and their sad, transient satisfaction.1

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