o The Protagonist meets a Muslim girl in
Edinburgh and falls in love.
o He flies to Khartoum to meet her family before
they get married.
o In Sudan, they go on outings but are never left
o The protagonists’ passport and camera are
stolen- he is angry but she is embarrassed at his
o They visit the British Embassy where she is
angry at their attitude.
o When they return to the house they find that her
uncle has died.
o The traditional three day mourning
period means that they are unable to see
or talk to each other. The wedding plans
are put in jeopardy.
o They eventually get married in her
brothers’ flat and can be alone at last.
o Religion: Both characters are Muslims.
The protagonist feels that Islam has
answered the big questions in life better
than his Catholic upbringing could. It is
considered odd for a white man to
convert to Islam.
o Cultural Differences: The protagonist is
eager to embrace his fiancées’ culture
but there are some aspects of it he finds
disturbing e.g. trying new foods.
o Love and Marriage: Two people from very
different backgrounds are able to fall in
obstacles/misunderstandings and get
o Family: The closeness of his fiancées’ family
is strange to the protagonist, but the death
of her uncle causes him to appreciate it.
o Society: Sudanese society is normally seen
as positive, however there is underlying
violence and greed. Scottish society is
normally seen as being undermined by
1. The Protagonist: He has been described as
always having been top of his class until
university, where he began to drift.
Converting to Islam helped him find his
purpose in life. He is eager to please his
fiancées’ family but is wary of new things.
He is very co-dependent (ex-girlfriend).
He works as a lab technician and is quite
an apparent loner, with his closest
considered “friend” being his old
2. The Protagonists’ Fiancée: Went to
Scotland to marry her previous fiancé,
but got divorced 6 months later due to his
apparent infidelity. She is constantly seen
through the mans’ eyes as very beautiful
3. Her Family: They are very close and
adhere to tradition, e.g. the mourning
period. Therefore it was considered quite
strange that she should marry a white
4. Her Brother: He is very protective and
quite threatening, and always seems
keen to take money where he can. The
protagonist does not know where he
stands with him when they first meet.
However the two gain an understanding
of each other during the mourning
period before the wedding.
5. The Uncle: An amusing Bill Cosby
lookalike, he becomes the symbol of the
family values when he unexpectedly
o The story is written in third person but
through the eyes of the protagonist.
o The title refers to a traditional wedding
o Quite a few traditional Arabic words and
phrases are used when talking about
food and religion.
o Popular culture references are made
throughout the story: The uncle is
compared to Bill Cosby, and the family to
the Mafia in the Godfather.
o Direct speech is used frequently, which
tells us a lot about the characters and
o The story is mainly a chronological
account of a few days in Sudan, but with a
short flashback to the when the couple
meet and fall in love in Edinburgh.
o Quote: “A girlfriend helped but then she
found a job in London and drifted away”.
“Her calmness made him feel that he
needn't be so nervous”. (Line 37-8)
Point about the Protagonist: He is a very
o Quote: “…but his teacher wanted the
humus salad and he ordered the lentil
soup instead because it was familiar.”
“He was cautious by nature, wanting new
things but held back by a vague
mistrust”. (Line 86-7)
Point about the protagonist: He is wary of
new things even though he would like to
let himself try them.
o “Unfair that they should be separated
like that” (Line 28)
o “I mustn’t kiss you”.
“No,” she laughed, “you mustn’t”. (Line 9-
o “Her country disturbed him”. (Line 1)
o “…misgivings about marrying a
foreigner.” (Line 19)
o “Insha’ Allah” (Line 68)
o It made her look at him properly, as if for
the first time.” (Line 169)