Days in the Diaspora

An Egyptian Novel

Kamal Ruhayyim
Translated bySarah Enany

“How could a good Muslim boy like you be born into a Jewish family!” For Galal, forced to leave Egypt in the 1960s Jewish exodus with his family,

English edition
15 June 2012
308 pp.
15X23cm
ISBN 9789774165375
For sale worldwide

$17.95

“How could a good Muslim boy like you be born into a Jewish family!” For Galal, forced to leave Egypt in the 1960s Jewish exodus with his family, the Diaspora has none of the beauty of a rich tapestry of history; it is a day-to-day struggle to fit into his new life in Paris, reconcile the conflicting demands of family and friends, and come to terms with who he is. The quest for belonging and identity is at the heart of this sensitive and tender narrative. Earthy, rambunctious supporting characters burst from the page, spontaneous, emotional, yet, for all their façade of confidence, no less adrift than Galal himself. Ruhayyim’s Paris of the 1960s is startlingly relevant: then, as now, religion offers an illusory source of community and identity for migrants to the west, not fitting in, yet cut off from their roots. Deeply personal, this unusual, uplifting coming-of-age novel takes us into the heart of an ordinary young man in the grip of an unforgiving historical moment.

Kamal Ruhayyim

Kamal Ruhayyim, born in Egypt in 1947, has a PhD in law from Cairo University. He is the author of a collection of short stories and two novels, as well as several books on law. Through his career in the Egyptian police force and Interpol he has lived in Cairo and Paris. Sarah Enany, with a Ph.D. in drama, is a lecturer in the English Department of Cairo University. Her translation credits include works by Yusuf Idris, Mohamed Salmawy, and Jerzy Grotowski.
Menu

Cart