Literapedia Book Notes for

Miramar by Naguib Mahfouz


  • Amer Wagdi- now an old man, he once lived lavishly as a journalist and was politically active
  • Miriana- The once gorgeous owner of Miramar
  • Zohra- A fellaha from the city who comes to live with Miriana to flee from an unfavorable marriage
  • Tolba Marzuq- A former “client” of Miriana who carries opposing political views to Amer and is financially corrupt
  • Sarhan el Beheiry- young man who runs off to marry Zohra’s teacher after leading Zohra on for so long
  • Mahmoud Abu el Abbas- newsboy who Zohra refuses an offer of marriage from
  • Hosni Allam- another young occupier of the pension- owner of land looking to invest in a business- refused for marriage by someone he loved
  • Mansour Bahi- brother of a policeman and works as a broadcaster
  • Aleya- Zohra’s school teacher who planned to marry Sarhan
  • Safeya- The mistress of Sarhan who works in the Genevoise
  • Ali Baker- Sarhan’s partner in crime
  • Doreya- the woman Mansour is in love with

Chapter Summaries

  1. Amer Wagdi- Amer Wagdi returns to Alexandria, where he has many fond, youthful memories and immediately tries to find Miriana’s pension, where he used to stay. He finds the pension old, and Miriana must bring herself to host students and anyone available because the business has become horrible in the recent years. Zohra shows up one day and she is soon followed by Tolba Marzuq, Sarhan el Beheiry and Hosni Allam. Zohra falls in love with Sarhan, who eventually runs off to marry her teacher after Hosni forces himself onto Zohra. The chapter ends with the people at the pension receiving notice of Sarhan’s murder.
  2. Hosni Allam- This chapter is Hosni’s recollection of the series of events that occurred. Upon his refusal for marriage to a woman he loved due to his lack of education, he takes up occupancy in the Miramar. He finds himself desiring Zohra who is instead in love with Sarhan and sleeps with numerous other women, but his desire never goes away. At the same time, he is looking for a business to invest in- considering the Miramar Café as well as the Genevoise- a night club. He is surprised to hear of Sarhan’s death.
  3. Mansour Bahy- He comes to stay at the pension and despite his love for Doreya and long affair, Mansour refuses to marry her after her husband abandons her. He has abandoned his party and has a close relationship to Zohra, one night proposing to her but she refuses. He follows Sarhan and beats him in an alleyway, thinking that he had caused his death.
  4. Sarhan El-Beheiry- Sarhan leaves Safeyah to pursue Zohra and falls madly in love with her. His decision to marry Aleya is based only on self-interest and his desire to have a well-established wife. He was participating in a crime to gain lots of money that goes horribly wrong and upon realizing this failure become extremely drunk and leaves with the intention of suicide.
  5. Amer Wagdi- Tolba and Miriana decide to go out for a New Years celebration and Zohra decides she will leave the pension. It is discovered that Sarhan’s death is suicidal despite Mansour’s confession. The chapter ends with Amer reciting the Sura of Beneficient.

Student Contributor

Besan Abu-Joudeh