Setting and characters

You are learning to understand how writers use language to describe the setting and the characters.

About the novel The Return to Beirut.

The extract you've read was taken from the novel The Return to Beirut which was written by ...

  • Odette K. Slimane
  • Sybil Lebanon.
  • AndrĂ©e Chedid.

Where does the story take place?

  • Beirut - Lebanon.
  • Cairo - Egypt.
  • Ankara - Turkey.

What do you think the muezzin's call is?

  • A muslim prayer.
  • A Lebanese music style.
  • A chant which summons Muslims to prayer.

Can you estimate around what time the explosion occurred?

  • Very early in the morning.
  • After midday, in the early afternoon.
  • Around midnight.

About Sybil.

What do you know about Sybil's cultural heritage?

  • She is an American citizen.
  • She might have some Egyptian roots on her grandmother's side.
  • She is bilingual and can switch from Arabic to English.

Why do you think that after the explosion occurred Sybil went in the shop with searing heart?

  • She was feeling very hot because of the explosion's fire.
  • She had been hit by debris.
  • She understood the situation was severely critical.

Why do you think she was convinced Aziz would get up and once again take his place in the shop?

  • Because she was shocked and in denial.
  • Because it was a joke!
  • Because he was not completely dead.

About Aziz.

How is Aziz's physical appearance described?

  • Tall and slender with thick curly white hair.
  • Plump-cheeked, baldheaded and a heavy moustache.
  • Bald, short and with a droopy mouth.

How would you describe Mr. Aziz's shop?

  • Spacious and comfortable.
  • Busy and crowded.
  • Dilapidated.

Which words best portray Mr. Aziz's demeanor?

  • Friendly, accommodating, religious and diligent.
  • Somber, stern and religious.
  • Idle and untidy.