‘Something Old, Something New’ Leila Aboulela
The narrator of this story, a young man seemingly trying to find himself, meets a Sudanese girl in Edinburgh while she is working in the Nile Cafe. She has to return home when her visa expires and he flies to Khartoum for them to be married. It should be a happy time but he feels uncomfortable, out of place and sometimes angry.
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'Something Old, Something New' by Leila Aboulela
A copy of the story.
Creative suggestions for exploring 'Something Old, Something New' with your students.
Before focusing on the setting of 'Something Old, Something New', students write a short piece based around the words used to describe Khartoum in the story.
Khartoum versus Edinburgh
A contextual PowerPoint. Students look at images of Khartoum and Edinburgh and imagine themselves visiting one of these cities for the first time.
A whizzy matching activity. Match the Arabic word to its definition. Teachers' answer sheet included.
Christian and Islamic marriage
Students play true or false 'cheat' with statements based on the key principles of Christian and Islamic marriage. Includes Higher and Foundation versions and a group work task.
The devil is in the detail. Students sniff out crucial details and convince others of their significance.
A chirpy bedtime read or an anxious-making tale? Plot the anxious-making moments of the story and decide on the story's overriding emotion.
What's on your mind?
A thought-tracking task to help students explore characterisation.
The role of faith
Examine a key section of the story and complete the accompanying activities. Takes students through various stages of analysis, building up to answering a question on faith.
A selection of devised scenes and freeze frames for exploring the story's central ideas.
Imagine that on his return to Scotland, the man plans a small wedding reception. Role play the speeches that might be given by the groom, the bride and the groom's father.
Social and historical context
Background information on Leila Aboulela and the short story 'Something Old, Something New'. This information is also available as a web page in the 'Social and historical' section.