From behind the veil
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“From Behind the Veil”. By Dhu’l Nun Ayyoub. Dhu’l Nun Ayyoub. Born 1908 in Iraq One of Iraq’s most prominent fiction writers Stories often portray bitter personal, political, or religious conflict Also explores the clash of traditional and modern forces in the Arab world. Questions.

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From behind the veil

“From Behind the Veil”

By Dhu’l Nun Ayyoub

Dhu l nun ayyoub
Dhu’l Nun Ayyoub

  • Born 1908 in Iraq

  • One of Iraq’s most prominent fiction writers

  • Stories often portray bitter personal, political, or religious conflict

  • Also explores the clash of traditional and modern forces in the Arab world.


  • With support, characterize Ihsan?

    Ihsan is a good-looking 18 year old who loves to flirt. He prefers veiled women.

    2. In the beginning of the story, why does Siham like her veil? She is protected by the anonymity of her veil. She can look at Ihsan as much as she likes without him knowing.

Questions con t
Questions (con’t)

  • What does Siham demand of Ihsan if their relationship is to continue?

    She demands that he must never try to follow her or ask who she is.

  • Why is this demand of Siham’s important?

    This is important in her country because their society is strict, sees this break of tradition as an unpardonable crime, and that as she says, “If my my people know anything of this they’d kill me” (280).


5. What is significant about Siham agreeing with her father’s view of veils?

When Siham agrees with her father on the conventional, traditional view of society of wearing a veil, she is hypocritical and only says that she believes in the tradition to please her father.


  • Why is does Siham both love and hate her veil?

    Siham loves the veil because it “hide(s) faults and scandals and yet she hates it because it denies her freedom.

Contextual information veils
Contextual Information: Veils

There are many different types of veils worn by Muslim women. For example, look at this website.

Interpreting Veils Website

The afghan girl
The Afghan Girl

“She remembers her anger. The man was a stranger. She had never been photographed before. Until they met 17 years later, she had not be photographed since.”

The afghan girl1
The Afghan Girl

  • "Her look kind of summed up the horror, because her village had been bombed and her relatives had been killed, and she'd had to make this two-week trek through the mountains to the refugee camp." - Steve Curry

The afghan girl found 17 years later
The Afghan Girl Found 17 Years Later

  • She's now the married mother of three girls and living in a remote ethnic Pushtun region of Afghanistan with her family. "There is not one family that has not eaten the bitterness of war" - Afghan merchant

Literary information
Literary Information

  • Protagonist: Siham: Young Muslim woman who goes against the rules of her religion and country by removing her veil.

  • Antagonist: Iraqi society; her father

  • Other important characters: Ihsan: young Muslim man who is infatuated with her

  • Setting: City in Iraq

Literary information1
Literary Information

  • Themes:

    • Through the vehicle of repression, the suppressed can find freedom.

    • Ironically, the more strict the social rules, the more challenging the bending of those rules becomes.

Literary information2
Literary Information

  • Conflict:

    • Person vs. society: Siham agains the rules of the Muslim religion and country

    • Person vs. self: Siham decision to reveal her face contrary to the rules she has been taught and the laws of her country.

    • Person vs. person: Siham’s views against the views of her more traditional father. Siham against Isham in hiding her identity.

Literary terms apostrophe
Literary Terms: Apostrophe

  • Apostrophe is a figure of speech in which an absent person, an abstract concept, or an inanimate object is directly addressed.

  • Example from the Short Story:

    • Page 281—when Siham tells her veil, “I love you because you help me to enjoy my life in a way that only those who wear the veil can appreciate” (281).

Episodic note 1
Episodic Note 1

Walking through the busy city Ishan and Siham meet.

Episodic note 2
Episodic Note 2

They go to a secluded park and Siham goes against her religion and the laws of her country and removes her veil from her face.

Episodic note 3
Episodic Note 3

Siham and Ishan continue to see each other in secret and their relationship deepens. However, Siham does not allow Ishan to know her name or where she lives.

Episodic note 4
Episodic Note 4

Siham’s father reads an article about women who have forsaken the traditions and removed their veil. He asks his daughter for her opinion. To please her father, Siham acts indignant; she renounces the girl who breaks with traditions and the conventions of society.

Episode 5
Episode 5

Siham goes to her room and bursts into laughter.

She has learned to use the veil to “hide faults and scandals.”

It has provided her with a means to an adventure and a way to experience life that only veiled women can appreciate.

For her, the veil is a means to freedom.

Fake facebook page
Fake Facebook Page

Click on the following link to access my Fake Facebook page for Siham.