Naguib Mahfouz
English edition  
September  2009
128 pp.
Hardbound
12.5X20 cm
$22.95
LE120
ISBN 9789774162916
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Before the Throne

Naguib Mahfouz
Translated by Raymond Stock

The Nobel laureate puts Egypt’s leaders on trial

In this extraordinary drama-in-dialogue, Naguib Mahfouz reveals his love for all of Egypt’s extensive history—and his deep knowledge of it. In Before the Throne, he summons nearly sixty of Egypt’s rulers to the afterlife Court of Osiris, from a king who unified Egypt for the first time, around 3000 BC, to a president assassinated by religious extremists in 1981. He includes names as familiar as the pharaoh Ramesses II and as obscure as the medieval vizier Qaraqush. Defending their behavior before the divine tribunal, those who acted for the nation’s good are honored with immortality, but those who failed to protect it leave the gilded hall of eternal justice with a very different verdict. Full of Mahfouz’s unique insight into his country’s timeless qualities, this controversial work skillfully traces five thousand years of Egypt’s past as it flows into the present, through the mind of its most acclaimed author.
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Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006) was born in the crowded Cairo district of Gamaliya. He graduated in philosophy from King Fuad University in 1934, and went on to write nearly forty novel-length works, plus hundreds of short stories and numerous screenplays. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1988. Raymond Stock, with a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania, is writing a biography of Naguib Mahfouz. He is the translator of numerous works by Mahfouz, most recently Dreams of Departure (AUC Press, 2007).

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“In brevity and in profundity, the Egyptian Nobel Laureate has written a remarkable book in which a long line of Egyptian leaders stand before the throne at the day of judgment. From the Pharaohs to Sadat, each is presented before trial at the gates of the afterlife, and their accomplishments weighed. This book is a mixture of Machiavellian discourse on leadership, of theology and what it takes to gain entry (as well as the complicating factor of multiple religious systems over the course of Egyptian history), and of insight into Mahfouz’s perspectives on these topics. It is a slim volume, and each

“trial” is handled deftly.”—The Global Ministries

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