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Maria Assif

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Rachel and City 1 A MAP OF HOME PRESENTATION OUTLINE Key Characters  Nidali Ammar  Waheed “Said” Ammar (Baba)  Gamal Ammar  Fairuza El-Guindi (Mama) Plot Summary  Part I: Nidali’s childhood in Kuwait City, Kuwait.  Part II: Nidali (age 13) moves to Alexandria, Egypt after the invasion of Kuwait.  Part III: Nidali comes of age in Austin, Texas. Detailed Plot Summary  The sections of the book are determined by geographical locations. Events begin with childhood concerns and grow more emotionally complex as Nidali matures  The first part of the text is greatly concerned with stories as they explain Nidali’s name, origins, place of residence, and familial relationships o Nidali’s brother is born and her hair is cut short o Nidali receives Woman of Wonder stickers but her cousin Esam later takes them away and she wins a contest at school for Koran memorization o Fairuza adopts a piano, fights with Waheed, and is left in the desert o Fairuza takes Gamal and Nidali to Egypt for Sonya’s wedding (Fairuza’s sister), but they must leave early when Waheed arrives with news of his father’s death o The family goes to Palestine to bury Waheed’s father o Nidali is placed in a class for exceptional students and frequently ends up in detention where she meets Fakhr el-Din th o Iraq begins to bomb Kuwait City on Nidali’s 13 birthday o The family is isolated in their apartment for an extended period of time before they decide to leave Kuwait for Egypt  In the second part, Nidali becomes more isolated and emotionally active, rebelling against her parents in an attempt to gain some independence o They drive through Kuwait, Iraq, and into Jordan with Nidali’s aunt, uncle and cousins, bribing soldiers to pass checkpoints, before flying to Egypt o Nidali learns about the Egyptian education system and wants to school herself but she is beaten by her father o Nidali’s Geddo experiences insulin withdrawal and falls in the street: this provides Nidali with the opportunity to live away from her family and care for her grandfather o While living with her Geddo, Nidali is reunited with Fakhr el-Din when he runs into her with his bicycle o She spends time with Geddo and Fakhr el-Din until she learns that her family cannot return to Kuwait o She studies for her exams and achieves a 92% average o Waheed gets a job in America and leaves ahead of the family to make arrangements  In the third part, the narrative voice shifts significantly: Nidali’s parents have accents, and sections are fragmented, often into short vignettes 2 o Nidali, Gamal, and Fairuza arrive in Texas o Nidali begins school and quickly makes friends; she is transformed into “Dolly” o Nidali runs away and earns some small freedoms o She is promoted to the eleventh grade from the tenth o Fairuza begins to teach piano lessons and is very successful o Nidali is raped o An anonymous letter is sent to her house that says that she “sucks dicks;” she is severely beaten by her father and Nidali charges him but later drops the charges o Nidali applies to colleges and steals money from her dad’s lottery ticket fund to apply to a college in Boston despite her father’s desire to have her stay close to home o Nidali is made to write “COMBOZISHANS” to prepare her for the writing of her statement of purpose o Nidali has sex for the first time with her friend Medina o Her parents get a mortgage and can now build their own house o Nidali graduates and reads her letter of acceptance from Boston o Nidali runs away again when she is forbidden to go to Boston and spends 10 days at her friend Dimi's house; Fairuza's hair turns white o Fairuza gives Nidali a box filled with her life’s writing the night before she leaves for Boston o The story of the pen Novel Context: The Gulf War (Aug 2, 1990 – Feb 28, 1991)  Invasion of Kuwait (Aug 2-4): o Iraq invaded Kuwait and had most of Kuwait under control within 12 hours after the royal family fled o Kuwaiti forces were defeated after two days of intense fighting o Many of Hussein’s reasons for invading Kuwait stemmed f
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