“I AM MY LANGUAGE”. ARABIC LANGUAGE IN ENGLISH WRITING IN AHDAF SOUEIF’S WORK
In this paper the author will examine how the Egyptian writer Ahdaf Soueif, although writing in English, uses the Arabic language as a narrative tool in her novels, especially in the one entitled In the Eye of the Sun. Starting from the Chicano writer Gloria E. Anzaldúa’s statements about the use of different languages as presented in Borderland/La frontera, the author will argue that Soueif’s strategy is a powerful tool that challenges the British presence in Egypt at the time of colonialism and move on to analyze the influence of the English language used in the novel. Soueif's bilingual writing (English/Arabic) can be thus perceived as an instance of adaptation of one’s mother tongue to the surrounding linguistic environment, as well as a tool of empowerment.
The English-writing author Soueif allows the Arabic language emerge in her narrative especially when dealing with historical issues, therefore reassessing the Arab national identity in Egypt and overcoming what seems to be linguistic “colonialism”. After describing the author’s cultural background, the author will propose certain examples of this kind of writing and/or transcultural translation which represents an act of resistance as opposed to the standardised trend of the English language.