Q. Write down the summary of The Mummy Awakens, a short story written by Naguib Mahfouz.
The Mummy Awakens Summary
Naguib Mahfouz wrote the story The Mummy Awakens. It was originally published in Arabic in 1939 with the title “Yaqzat al-Mumiya.” An English translation by Raymond Stock came out in 2001.
This translation was published with the cooperation of the American University in Cairo Press.
A Mysterious Event
The narrator feels embarrassed to share a strange and unbelievable story. A reputable university professor tells the true story of this incident, which involves a well-known Egyptian man. The story is hard to believe because it goes against logic and nature.
It is about weird and impossible things happening in the world, which makes the narrator uncomfortable. Even though it sounds like fiction, it happened, making it even more challenging to understand and explain to others.
The narrator doubts the scientific explanation behind the story, but there is evidence that it is true. It makes the narrator hesitant to share it, but he decides to tell the story anyway.
A Gathering of Distinguished Individuals
An archaeology professor, Dr. Dorian, visits Mahmoud Pasha al-Arna’uti, a rich and important Egyptian, at his palace. The meeting includes famous people like M. Saroux, head of a fine arts school, and Dr. Pierre, a mental disease expert.
They all gather in the Pasha’s fancy living room, filled with modern art and sculptures. This room shows the Pasha’s love for French culture. The Pasha is known for his Turkish roots, Egyptian nationality, and love for France.
His house feels like France, with French furniture, people, language, and food. The group talks and enjoys their time in this luxurious setting, reflecting the Pasha’s high status and cultural interests.
The Pasha’s French Affiliation
The Pasha, Mahmoud Pasha al-Arna’uti, is a notable figure with a unique background. He has Turkish roots, is an Egyptian citizen, and deeply loves French culture. The Pasha is so connected to France that he sees it as his second home.
He spends much time there and feels very happy under its skies. His closest friends are French, living either in Egypt or France. Being in his house is like being in Paris because of the French style everywhere.
The Pasha is well-known among French artists and poets. He is passionate about French art and culture and often discusses France’s policies. It shows how much he admires and connects with everything French.
The Pasha’s Decision on Art Donation
During the gathering, the Pasha discusses a big decision regarding his art collection. He says he would choose France if he had to choose between giving his art to Egypt or France. This collection is precious and includes many unique pieces.
His decision to prefer France over Egypt for the donation surprises the guests. Some are worried about the reaction from the Egyptian people and the media. They think the Pasha might face criticism because the Egyptian press often accuses him of misusing Egypt’s money in France.
Despite these concerns, the Pasha is firm in his choice. He strongly connects with France and believes his art collection belongs there. This choice highlights his deep love for French culture and could lead to controversy in Egypt.
An Unexpected Archaeological Discovery
The Pasha surprises everyone by revealing an archaeological dig happening in his garden. Shaykh Jadallah, a respected local figure, is leading this excavation. At first, people think it is just superstition, but then they remember a similar situation that led to a significant finding.
They become interested in it and decide to check it out. In the garden, they find a hidden passage leading to what looks like an ancient Egyptian tomb.
This discovery is exciting and unexpected, right in the Pasha’s backyard. It makes everyone curious about the secrets and treasures inside the tomb.
Unearthing in the Pasha’s Garden
In the Pasha’s garden, the group finds something incredible. They find a hidden underground passage under Shaykh Jadallah’s leadership. This passage leads to an ancient tomb, which they think belongs to General Hor from long ago.
Amid this excitement, a dramatic incident occurs: a poor Sa‘idi man is caught and punished by the Pasha for stealing food meant for Beamish, his beloved dog. This event sheds light on the Pasha’s stern demeanor towards the less fortunate.
They see many old artifacts inside the tomb, like statues and paintings. Dr. Dorian, an expert in this field, confirms that it is a significant find from ancient Egyptian history.
Everyone is amazed and scared by this discovery. It is a shocking moment because it is like stepping back in time, right in their backyard.
The Pasha’s Intention to Inform Authorities
When they discover the ancient tomb in the Pasha’s garden, the Pasha thinks they should tell the government right away. He believes informing the authorities about such a significant find is essential.
However, Dr. Dorian, the archaeology expert, suggests they wait. He wants to look at everything in the tomb and understand more about what they have found.
Dr. Dorian thinks it is better to investigate the discovery themselves before involving others. He feels that exploring the tomb carefully could give them valuable information.
This situation creates a bit of tension: the Pasha wants to do the right thing by reporting it, but Dr. Dorian is curious and wants to learn more about the tomb first.
Encounter with the Past
In the ancient tomb, the group experiences something unbelievable. The mummy of General Hor seems to come to life. It sits up and even stands, shocking everyone. Looking like a living person, the mummy starts talking to the Pasha in an old language.
The narrator notes a striking resemblance between the mummy’s stature and that of the Sa‘idi man earlier accused of theft. This observation adds to the surreal nature of the encounter.
Dr. Dorian recognizes the language from ancient times. The mummy, thinking the Pasha is a servant from the past, gets angry and accuses him of wrongdoing. This scary and surreal moment makes everyone panic.
Frightened, Pasha collapses, and the room falls into darkness and chaos. It is a terrifying encounter with what seems like the past coming to life.
A Mysterious Conclusion
After the mummy of General Hor confronts the Pasha, the situation becomes very scary. With terror, the Pasha falls and does not move. Everyone else is also in shock.
The room goes dark when the lamp is knocked over, adding to the fear and confusion. Dr. Dorian, the archaeologist, is so scared that he faints.
When he wakes up, he finds everything quiet and the Pasha still on the ground. The Pasha has died of fear. This mysterious and tragic end leaves many questions. Dr. Dorian is left wondering if what they saw was real or not.