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No One Sleeps in Alexandria

No One Sleeps in Alexandria
  • Author : Ibrahim Abdel Meguid
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007-05-01
  • Total pages :416
  • ISBN : 1617974072
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Summary : This sweeping novel depicts the intertwined lives of an assortment of Egyptians--Muslims and Copts, northerners and southerners, men and women--as they begin to settle in Egypt's great second city, and explores how the Second World War, starting in supposedly faraway Europe, comes crashing down on them, affecting their lives in fateful ways. Central to the novel is the story of a striking friendship between Sheikh Magd al-Din, a devout Muslim with peasant roots in northern Egypt, and Dimyan, a Copt with roots in southern Egypt, in their journey of survival and self-discovery. Woven around this narrative are the stories of other characters, in the city, in the villages, or in the faraway desert, closer to the fields of combat. And then there is the story of Alexandria itself, as written by history, as experienced by its denizens, and as touched by the war. Throughout, the author captures the cadences of everyday life in the Alexandria of the early 1940s, and boldly explores the often delicate question of religious differences in depth and on more than one level. No One Sleeps in Alexandria adds an authentically Egyptian vision of Alexandria to the many literary--but mainly Western--Alexandrias we know already: it may be the same space in which Cavafy, Forster, and Durrell move but it is certainly not the same world.

Between Terror and Tourism

Between Terror and Tourism
  • Author : Michael Mewshaw
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2010
  • Total pages :397
  • ISBN : 1582434344
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Summary : Mewshaw knows two Africas: the picturesque one seen on postcards, and the dangerous one he discovered on African soil. Here, he takes readers from the benign beaches of Morocco to the casbahs of Algeria, where more than 100,000 people have died during a decade of political strife.

The Other Place

The Other Place
  • Author : Ibrāhīm ʻAbd al-Majīd,Ibrahim Abdel Meguid
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2005
  • Total pages :332
  • ISBN : 9789774249587
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Summary : Portraying the shallowness of the petrodollar culture and the price one pays for quick money, this prize-winning book describes the protagonist's experiences and those of migrant workers and professionals in one of the Gulf states. It also describes their interaction with the oil-rich country's local elite and with agents of western businesses.

The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction

The Anchor Book of Modern Arabic Fiction
  • Author : Denys Johnson-Davies
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2010-03-31
  • Total pages :512
  • ISBN : 0307481484
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Summary : This dazzling anthology features the work of seventy-nine outstanding writers from all over the Arab-speaking world, from Morocco in the west to Iraq in the east, Syria in the north to Sudan in the south. Edited by Denys Johnson-Davies, called by Edward Said “the leading Arabic-to-English translator of our time,” this treasury of Arab voices is diverse in styles and concerns, but united by a common language. It spans the full history of modern Arabic literature, from its roots in western cultural influence at the end of the nineteenth century to the present-day flowering of Naguib Mahfouz’s literary sons and daughters. Among the Egyptian writers who laid the foundation for the Arabic literary renaissance are the great Tawfik al-Hakim; the short story pioneer Mahmoud Teymour; and Yusuf Idris, who embraced Egypt’s vibrant spoken vernacular. An excerpt from the Sudanese writer Tayeb Salih’s novel Season of Migration to the North, one of the Arab world’s finest, appears alongside the Libyan writer Ibrahim al-Koni’s tales of the Tuaregs of North Africa, the Iraqi writer Mohamed Khudayir’s masterly story “Clocks Like Horses,” and the work of such women writers as Lebanon’s Hanan al-Shaykh and Morocco’s Leila Abouzeid. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Birds of Amber

Birds of Amber
  • Author : Ibrāhīm ʻAbd al-Majīd,Ibrahim Abdel Meguid,Ibrahim Abd Al-Majid
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2005
  • Total pages :419
  • ISBN : 9789774248863
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Summary : This novel teems with memorable characters, not a few of whom are themselves storytellers: a budding novelist writing about the housing project and its eccentric denizens and about his own improbable love affair with a 12-year-old girl; a spice merchant dreaming of the bygone glory of his ancestors and their trade along the spice road, beginning on the Malabar Coast; a train guard who is a teller of very tall tales; and a would-be filmmaker trying to make a film showing what happened in Port Said during the war. Then there is the cinema aficionado who plays Tarzan in real life along the Mahmudiya Canal; the young boy who leads a group of assorted crazies every afternoon to see 'God' at sunset; the singing nurse whose only dream is to perform on the radio; and Arabi, the young man who is in love with all things European, but especially with his employer, Katina the widowed Greek dressmaker. Ibrahim Abdel Meguid combines historical fact with fiction, and the mundane with the fantastical, to weave a multilayered story of stories.

Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?

Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?
  • Author : Reuven Snir
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2015-02-26
  • Total pages :314
  • ISBN : 9004289100
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Summary : In Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?: Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities, Reuven Snir presents a fresh approach to the study of Arab-Jewish identity showing that singularity, not identity, has become the major war cry among Arabized Jews.

Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism

Alexandrian Cosmopolitanism
  • Author : Hala Halim
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2013-09-19
  • Total pages :448
  • ISBN : 0823251764
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Summary : Interrogating how Alexandria became enshrined as the exemplary cosmopolitan space in the Middle East, this book mounts a radical critique of Eurocentric conceptions of cosmopolitanism. The dominant account of Alexandrian cosmopolitanism elevates things European in the city's culture and simultaneously places things Egyptian under the sign of decline. The book goes beyond this civilization/barbarism binary to trace other modes of intercultural solidarity. Halim presents a comparative study of literary representations, addressing poetry, fiction, guidebooks, and operettas, among other genres. She reappraises three writers--C. P. Cavafy, E. M. Forster, and Lawrence Durrell--whom she maintains have been cast as the canon of Alexandria. Attending to issues of genre, gender, ethnicity, and class, she refutes the view that these writers' representations are largely congruent and uncovers a variety of positions ranging from Orientalist to anti-colonial. The book then turns to Bernard de Zogheb, a virtually unpublished writer, and elicits his Camp parodies of elite Levantine mores in operettas one of which centers on Cavafy. Drawing on Arabic critical and historical texts, as well as contemporary writers' and filmmakers' engagement with the canonical triumvirate, Halim orchestrates an Egyptian dialogue with the European representations.

Being Abbas el Abd

Being Abbas el Abd
  • Author : Ahmed Alaidy
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2009-10-15
  • Total pages :144
  • ISBN : 1617970654
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Summary : "The millennial generation's most celebrated literary achievement." Al-Ahram Weekly "The first glimmer of hope for a true fictional renaissance an instantly rewarding read embraced by an unprecedented range of literary figures" The Daily Star "What is madness?" asks the narrator of Ahmed Alaidy's jittery, funny, and angry novel. Assuring readers that they are about to find out, the narrator takes us on a journey through the insanity of present-day Cairo in and out of minibuses, malls, and crash pads, navigating the city's pinball machine of social life with tolerable efficiency. But lurking under the rocks in his grouchy, chain-smoking, pharmaceutically-oriented, twenty-something life are characters like his elusive psychiatrist uncle with a disturbing interest in phobias. And then there's Abbas, the narrator's best friend who surfaces at critical moments to drive our hero into uncontrollably multiplying difficulties. For instance, theres the ticklish situation with the simultaneous blind-dates Abbas has set up for him on different levels of a coffee-shop in a Cairo mall with two girls both called Hind. With friends like Abbas, what paranoiac needs enemies?

Leaves of Narcissus

Leaves of Narcissus
  • Author : Somaya Ramadan,Sumayyah Ramaḍān
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2002
  • Total pages :111
  • ISBN : 9789774247279
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Summary : This novel of home and homelessness, of exile both physical and psychological, centers on Kimi, a fragile heroine suffering from a rift in her persona, unable to distinguish between her own pain and the pain of others. For Kimi it is not a simple case of to be or not to be, but rather of how to be in disjointed and contrary times. Leaves of Narcissus, like earlier Arabic novels about East-West encounters by male writers such as Tawfiq al-Hakim, Taha Hussein, and Tayeb Saleh, is about a young Arab student going West in search of education. Here, though, the protagonist is a young woman and her destination is Ireland, a part of the West and at the same time a victim of the ravages of colonialism -- adding ambiguity to the customary representations of the East/West dichotomy. In this captivating novel, Somaya Ramadan displays a rare virtuosity in evoking and interlacing literary motifs -- from the popular to the learned, from the folk to the mythic, from the Egyptian to the Irish -- and poses questions rather than answers, questions that hold a mirror to our selves.

The Last Of The Angels

The Last Of The Angels
  • Author : Fadhil al-Azzawi
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007-04-01
  • Total pages :320
  • ISBN : 1617971464
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Summary : Set in the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk during the 1950s, The Last of the Angels tells the slyly humorous tale of three strikingly different people in one small neighborhood. During a labor strike against the British-run Iraq Petroleum Company, Hameed Nylon becomes a labor organizer and later a revolutionary, like his hero, Mao Tse-Tung. His brother-in-law, the sheep butcher Khidir Musa, travels to the Soviet Union to find his long-lost brothers, and returns home to great acclaim (and personal fortune) in an airship. Meanwhile, a young boy named Burhan Abdullah discovers an old chest in the attic of his family's house that lets him talk to angels. By turns satiric, picaresque, and apocalyptic, The Last of the Angels paints a loving, panoramic, and elegiac portrait of Kirkuk in the final years of Iraq's monarchy. But as the grim reality of modern Iraqi history catches up with the novel's events, we come to learn the depth and complexity of Hameed Nylon, Khidir Musa, and Burhan Abdullah, and al-Azzawi's comic novel becomes a moving tale of growing up in a dangerous world.

The Dreams of Departure

The Dreams of Departure
  • Author : Naguib Mahouz
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007
  • Total pages :131
  • ISBN : 9789774160677
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Summary : In this second collection of writing, based on his own dreams serialized in a Cairo magazine before his death in 2006, Egyptian Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz again displays his matchless ability to tell epic stories in uncannily terse form. As in the first volume (The Dreams, AUC Press, 2004), we meet more of the real (and unreal) figures that filled the author's life with glory and worry, ecstasy and ennui, in tales dreamed by a mind too fertile to ever truly rest. In them, a man sent by a victorious invader to open a storehouse holding the statue of Egypt's reawakening finds his access denied by a menacing reptile. An obscure writer dies, and a despairing inscription on his coffin turns his funeral into a massive demonstration. A man opens a stubborn gate to stare at a lake over which loom the illuminated faces of those he has loved, but who are no more--in search of the soul who made him long to live forever. The ever more condensed and poetic episodes in Dreams of Departure movingly carry on Mahfouz's only major work after a knife attack in 1994 ironically inspired him to dream in print for his readers.

Pyramid Texts

Pyramid Texts
  • Author : Gamal al-Ghitani
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007-02-01
  • Total pages :112
  • ISBN : 1617971480
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Summary : With its Sufistic parables of the human condition, rendered in a style redolent of both the austere meditations of Borges and the dark engorged ruminations of Arthur C. Clark, Pyramid Texts engages the mind and beguiles the imagination. In a series of chapters each shorter than the last so that, like their subjects, they taper ultimately into nothingness the author evokes the obsessions that have drawn men over the centuries to the brooding presence of mankind's most ancient and mysterious monuments. Among others in a procession of exotic characters, a Moroccan seeker after knowledge spends years contemplating the pyramids in the hope that one day he will understand the mysterious writing that fitfully appears on their sides. Another waits patiently for the moment when the shadow of one will diverge from its accustomed path and bestow immortality, and the Sphinx performs a celestial dance. Pyramid Texts leads us into a world of endless passages and mysterious sighing winds, a world whose claustrophobic and shadowy spaces may be illuminated by flashes of ecstasy leading to scintillating transfigurations and dizzying annihilations.

Clamor of the Lake

Clamor of the Lake
  • Author : Mohamed El-Bisatie
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2009-01-01
  • Total pages :144
  • ISBN : 1617971979
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Summary : Clamor of the Lake begins with the appearance of an old fisherman of unknown origin sailing a black boat. Taciturn and enigmatic, he takes on a woman and her twin boys. While he gives away nothing about his past, his undemanding companionship prompts the woman to narrate her turbulent life. Meanwhile, in a nearby village by the lake, Gomaa and his wife have found respite from the dreariness of their existence in the fantastic objects the sea churns up during gales a sword, alluring panties, a talisman. But when the waves cast up a chest that speaks in a language no one can comprehend, Gomaa is haunted by its voice. As the tumult of the lake drives a wedge between the couple, it turns two neighbors into close allies: Karawia, a café proprietor, and Afifi, a grocer. Eventually, they too will be haunted by the siren song of the lake. In Mohamed El-Bisatie's lyrical novel, the stories of these various figures converge on the mercurial presence of the lake, which in the end proves the narrative's true hero. An accomplished experiment in the poetics of space, Clamor of the Lake won the 1995 Cairo International Book Fair Award for Best Novel of the Year.

Arab Culture and the Novel

Arab Culture and the Novel
  • Author : Muhammad Siddiq
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007-06-11
  • Total pages :272
  • ISBN : 1135980500
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Summary : This book explores the complex relationship between the novel and identity in modern Arab culture against a backdrop of contemporary Egypt. It uses the example of the Egyptian novel to interrogate the root causes – religious, social, political, and psychological – of the lingering identity crisis that has afflicted Arab culture for at least two centuries.

Distant Train

Distant Train
  • Author : Ibrahim Abdel Meguid
  • Publisher :
  • Release Date :2007-04-26
  • Total pages :216
  • ISBN : 9780815608592
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Summary : “While the fading autumn sun sped toward the horizon, the young boys headed home—they were not used to trying to see at night without the moon’s glow.” So begins this unconventional, hauntingly mythic novel. In the tradition of magical-realism, author Abdel Meguid crafts a tale steeped in symbolism. Writing in a shimmering lyrical style he brings alive the dreams, customs, and everyday concerns of people living in historic obscurity on the fringe of the glitzy petro-dollar kingdoms of the Middle East. The tale begins on a worksite in Egypt’s western desert. Here, in the middle of nowhere, railway men and locals wait in hope for the annual return of a “distant train.” When last it came this vehicle brought with it foreigners, soldiers—and economic opportunity; then it stopped. Each of Meguid’s characters is allegorical in nature. Each part of the novel is framed by memory and the way remembrance takes shape and affects the characters. The story’s main characters are time and place. Yet its dramatic thrust is the ways in which place gives rise to history through the passage of time and the rise and fall of settlement. Distant Train reaffirms Meguid’s status as a new, imaginative, and distinct voice in the field of narrative literature and the time-honored arena of storytelling.