The novel, Divorce Islamic Style, is mainly composed of two characters that narrate and also propel events taking place in Rome. The two characters are Sofia and Issa. Issa comes from Silica and Shows mastery of the Arabic language which can be attributed to her fluency when she engages in a conversation. Issa works for the Italian government as an operative. Sofia on the other hand is an immigrant from Egypt having being married to a Muslim husband. Sofia shows some level of defiance towards her husband by running a hair salon, something which contradicts with the Muslim beliefs shared by her husband.
Issa has one mission, which is to expose a cell of terrorists located in the neighborhood of Viale Marconi. To achieve this mission, Christian assumes another identity where they change their mannerisms and appearance to enable him to infiltrate “the Little Cairo, as a citizen of Tunisia. Issa rents a room in a boarding house which is occupied by other immigrants. While here, he secures a job as a dish washer at a restaurant owned by an Italian. The person who happens to be the manager of the restaurant happens to be the husband of Sofia.
The two characters meet a hangout spot, where people go to make calls at their homes and also watch Al Jazeera. Christian falls for Sofia because of her mannerisms and good looks. Issa also identifies that Sofia is unique in that she wore a veil, which was a rare practice in Italy, Rome, and other Western countries. He also notes that Sofia was not predictable in the way she conducted her activities and that she was not conventional. All these characteristics caught Issa’s attention.
In the novel, the author attempts to express how he and other individuals cannot comprehend how people easily create a community of their own in new nation but cannot assimilate into the new culture by befriending the native individuals or learning the new language. Specifically, the author, Lakhous, explores the minutiae in the Arab communities and the reason why residents from these places move to other countries. In the book, the author identifies that search for better opportunities, with strict rules, and fewer prospects are the main reason why the Arabs move to other countries. Some of these immigrants go to the West and work for a while, while others assume citizenship.
- Popular Culture
As learned in class, globalization is the process by which people can integrate and interact. The interaction is, however, is not limited to people only. Governments from different states, as well companies communicate. The communication between the two governments or corporations is based on the existence of investment and international trade which is fueled by information technology. In the novel, several aspects of globalization have been mentioned.
One, it has been identified that globalization allows not only countries but also the citizens of these individual nations to raise their standards of living and also develop economically. In the novel, the author has attempted to indicate why most Arabs shift from their native homes to other countries. For example, Sofia is married to an Egyptian architect who migrated from their native country in search of a business opportunity, where he is now a manager of a restaurant (54). On the same note, Sofia agreed to engage in marriage with the husband because the ties would give an opportunity to escape to migrate from Egypt with intentions to work in the new country (56). She, however, comes to find out that Italy was not that different from her native country because of her husband, a devout Muslim for that matter, demanded that she should not work. In the novel, we later find out that she starts a salon business behind her husband (65).
Another instance where the theme of globalization has been put to detail is in the narration where technology has enabled the immigrants to communicate with their families and friend back at their homes (30). This incidence is explored more during the meeting of Issa and Sofia. It is indicated that they met on the chill sport, where people go to watch Aljazeera and make calls. Finally, the theme of globalization has been explored in the scene where Sofia engages in a conversation with her Italian friends. In the conversation, Sofia indicates how much she disapproves the culture influence through globalization at a global level (126). She disapproves the western influence on implants and states that she would not encourage implants because she intended to take the body back to God with no modifications.
According to the lessons learned popular culture could have different meanings depending on the context in which it is used, or the person using it. It encompasses the social aspects of that people actively engage with the public. Some of them include the food that people consume and the styles of dresses.
The theme of popular culture is explored where the author introduces the place that Issa had rented a room at a boarding house. Equally important, Issa outlines some of the behaviors he had adopted from staying in the new country. For example, he got used to sleeping without clothes, and reading before going to bed (24). The author has also overlapped two themes in one scene. The topics for having body implants have addressed both globalization and popular culture. Regarding the latter, Italians have embraced the ongoing trend where people are adopting implants (126). This practice is contrary to Sofia where she blurts out that she cannot impose body changes. She even asserted that the human bodies are just like goods on loans and that at one time or the other, people would give back that which they owe other individuals. Additionally, the Italian community has also adopted a culture of taking pizza (78). The current society has embraced making pizza in social events, and people are doing this in public as a sign that they have blended in the paradigms of the society.
In conclusion, the book has covered and addressed the conditions under which Muslim immigrants work in pizza kitchens. The author has also managed to explore the theme of divorce, terrorism, globalization, and popular culture by scaling down to two people, Issa and Sofia. The theme of globalization has been identified through economic opportunities that have made most people shift from their countries of origin while the theme of culture has been explored through food, adoption of contemporary practices such as body implants, and the adoption of daily habits similar to those conducted by people of the hosting country.
Lakhous, Amara, and Ann Goldstein. Divorce Islamic Style. 2012. Print.