Cairo is a city of splendor and spectacle, long celebrated as much for its warmth and bustling street life as for the legacy of its tumultuous past. Yet for the countless visitors who fall under its spell, the prolonged din of its crowds and traffic can seem overwhelming at times, tempting them out of the city’s open spaces into its shadow light, the cooler, quieter interiors of restaurants, homes, hotels, and terraces. Cairo Inside Out evokes the light and moods of this great metropolis with stunning photographs shot from the city’s indoor havens. We observe it through and from nostalgic haunts, such as Café Riche and the Windsor Hotel, and look out onto its great sights—the Nile, the Red Pyramid at Dahshur, Ibn Tulun mosque—from the most intimate urban interiors, homes, and watersides. For those who may have lived in Cairo, this is a reminder of a city that moves and yet remains wonderfully unchanged. For visitors and residents, this evocative collection, an unabashed homage to Cairo’s persistent color and allure, will inspire them to visit those places once more.
This new expanded paperback edition of the bestselling hardback includes an additional section of photographs taken from Cairo’s newer and more recently established haunts and places of interest.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
The drama of history and the confluence of geography and climate have made Egypt one of the most sought-after travel destinations in the world. But what is that elusive something that makes it unlike anywhere else on earth? In Egypt Inside Out, Trevor Naylor and Doriana Dimitrova escape the crowds and clamor to take us a on a lyrical exploration of place, bringing us the country in all its captivating regional diversity.
The wistfulness of Alexandria, the serenity of Aswan, the energy of Cairo, the lushness of Fayoum, the magic of Siwa, the haunting purity of river and desert. Photographing villages, towns, and cities from the cool, intimate interiors of hotels and homes, and from on board boats, taxis, and trains, they transport us to Egypt’s hideaways and dappled shadows, its groves and temples, dazzling colors and sublime light, and the vast splendor of its landscapes and monumental architecture. Written by an author who has known Egypt for more than thirty years, and illustrated with beautifully observed photographs, Egypt Inside Out is a unique journey through the ever-present allure of an extraordinary country.
The exceptional beauty of Egypt’s monuments and landscapes has thrilled visitors for centuries.
From the beaches of the Red Sea Coast to the lush palm groves of Egypt’s oases, from the heritage of the Roman and Coptic periods to the architectural riches that followed the arrival of Islam, from the magnificent tombs and temples of ancient Egypt to medieval souks to Cairo’s bustling energy today, there is just so much to feast on in Egypt.
Featuring 165 color photographs and captions explaining the stories behind each image, Egypt is a stunning visual journey through an astonishing country.
Self-presentation is the oldest and most common component of ancient Egyptian high culture. It arose in the context of private tomb records, where the character and role of an individual—invariably a well-to-do non-royal elite official or administrator—were presented purposefully: published by inscription and image, to a contemporary audience and to posterity. Living Forever: Self-Presentation in Ancient Egypt looks at how and why non-royal elites in ancient Egypt represented themselves, through language and art, on monuments, tombs, stelae, and statues, and in literary texts, from the Early Dynastic Period to the Thirtieth Dynasty. Bringing together essays by international Egyptologists and archaeologists from a range of backgrounds, the chapters in this volume offer fresh insight into the form, content, and purpose of ancient Egyptian presentations of the self. Applying different approaches and disciplines, they explore how these self-representations, which encapsulated a discourse with gods and men alike, yield rich historical and sociological information, provide examples of ancient rhetorical devices and repertoire, and shed light on notions of the self and collective memory in ancient Egypt.
Jewelry was worn by ancient Egyptians at every level of society and, like their modern descendants, they prized it for its aesthetic value, as a way to adorn and beautify the body. It was also a conspicuous signifier of wealth, status, and power. But jewelry in ancient Egypt served another fundamental purpose: its wearers saw it as a means to absorb positive magical and divine powers—to protect the living, and the dead, from the malignant forces of the unseen. The types of metals or stones used by craftsmen were magically important, as were the colors of the materials, and the exact positioning of all the elements in a design.
Ancient Egyptian Jewelry: 50 Masterpieces of Art and Design draws on the exquisite collections in the archaeological museums of Cairo to tell the story of three thousand years of jewelry-making, from simple amulets to complex ritual jewelry to the spells that protected the king in life and assisted his journey to the Otherworld in death. Gold, silver, carnelian, turquoise, and lapis lazuli were just some of the precious materials used in many of the pieces, and this stunningly illustrated book beautifully showcases the colors and exceptional artistry and accomplishment that make ancient Egyptian jewelry so dazzling to this day.
This book explores the long-term trends in the development of what was the first complex civilization in history, the Old Kingdom of Egypt (c. 2650–2200 BC), the period that saw the construction of eternal monuments such as Djoser’s Step Pyramid complex in Saqqara, the pyramids of the great Fourth Dynasty kings in Giza, and spectacular tombs of high officials throughout Egypt. The present study aims to show that the historical trajectory of the period was marked by specific processes that characterize most of the world’s civilizations: the role of the ruling elite, the growth of bureaucracy, the proliferation of interest groups, and adaptation to climate change, to name but a few―and the way that these processes held the germ of ultimate collapse. The case is made that the rise and fall of the Old Kingdom state is of relevance to the study of the anatomy of development of any complex civilization.
In 2019, the American University in Cairo (AUC) celebrates its centenary. Founded on Tahrir Square, the university has been at the center of the intellectual, social, and cultural life of Cairo and Egypt for the last one hundred years, and is hailed as one of the leading academic institutions in the Middle East. AUC’s alumni have included diplomats, business leaders, statesmen and stateswomen, Pulitzer Prize–winning journalists, media personalities, filmmakers, revolutionaries, and even a queen. In that time, the university has experienced wars, revolutions, attempted nationalization, bombings, and, in recent times, a wholesale move to a new purpose-built campus in the desert. Utilizing a rich array of photographs, documents, and objects, this book presents one hundred short stories about the life and legacy of this unique and remarkable institution.
Rameses III—often dubbed the “last great pharaoh”—lived and ruled during the first half of the twelfth century bc, a tumultuous time that saw the almost complete overthrow of established order in the eastern Mediterranean, and among Rameses’s achievements was the preservation of Egypt as a nation-state in the face of external assault. However, his reign also saw economic challenges, and increasing dissatisfaction, which culminated in the king’s own assassination.
This richly illustrated book is the latest in a series that aims to provide accounts of key figures in ancient Egyptian history that covers not only their life-stories but also their rediscovery and reception in modern times. Accordingly, it follows the king from his birth to his resurrection through modern research, describing the key events of the reign, his major monuments, and the people and events that led to these becoming once again known to the world.
In 1980s Casablanca, Farah arrives from her small town life with big dreams: she wants to sing. She meets Outhman, but he longs to leave the city, to seek his fortune elsewhere. They fall in love, but trouble brews on the horizon.
A bitter struggle rages over construction of the monumental Hassan II Mosque—it will destroy their neighborhood but the government insist this is a necessary sacrifice for the good of Morocco. The two young lovers find themselves caught up in events beyond their control, and in a world that seems to work against their happiness at every turn. A Shimmering Red Fish Swims with Me is a narrative tour de force: one of power plays and petty jealousies, deceit and corruption, written with masterful attention to detail.
Shortlisted for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation
In the shadows of great wealth, and among Cairo’s famous monuments, runs a world of street children. Mustafa, a former student radical who never really believed in the slogans, sets out to tell their story through a documentary he is making with his American girlfriend, Marcia.
Alienated from a corrupt and corrupting society, Mustafa watches as the Cairo he cherishes crumbles around him. His former leftist comrades are now all either capitalists or Islamists, while his friends and acquaintances struggle to find lovers worthy of their love and causes worthy of their sacrifice, in a country that no longer deserves their loyalty. Meanwhile, the children of the streets wait for the city to take notice. Cairo Swan Song weaves together a patchwork narrative of overlapping lives, dreams, and realities all centering on Cairo’s famous downtown neighborhood.
Tucked away in a rundown quarter, just out of sight of downtown Cairo, a group of intellectuals gather regularly to smoke hashish in Hakeem’s den. The den is the center of their lives, both a refuge and a stimulus, and at the center of the den is the remarkable man who keeps their hashish bowls topped up—Rowdy Salih.
While his former life is a mystery to his loyal clientele of writers, painters, film directors, and even window dressers, each sees himself reflected in Salih; but without his humor, humility, or insight, or his occasional passions fueled by hootch. And when the nation has to face its own demons during the peace initiative of the 1970s, it is Rowdy Salih who speaks for them all.
This is a comic novel with a broken heart, very like Salih himself, whose warm rough voice calls out long after we have recovered from the novel’s painful conclusion.
Hawa is a child of the grinding hardship of a Palestinian refugee camp. She has had to survive the camp itself, as well as the humiliation and destruction of an abusive family life. But now, later in life, something most unexpected has happened: she has fallen in love. Velvet unfolds over a day in Hawa’s life, as she makes plans for a new beginning that may take her out of the camp. She sifts back through her memories of the past: the stories of her family, her childhood, and her beloved mentor, who invited her into the glamorous world of the rich women of Amman.
This is a novel of enormous power and great beauty. Rich in detail, it tells of the women of the camp, and the joy and relief that can be captured amid repression and sorrow.
With over 2,000 essential words and phrases, this stylish, pocket-sized Arabic picture dictionary from Berlitz’s trusted language experts makes communicating quick and easy. Packed with essential words you’ll need to communicate in everyday situations, its content is conveniently organized into twelve thematic units (General Vocabulary, People, Home and Housekeeping, School, Work, Food and Drink, Travel and Leisure, Health, Sport, Nature, Shopping and Services, and Culture and Media). Each word is accompanied by a translation, a simple phonetic transcription, and a color picture, allowing for swift communication and comprehension. It’s also ideal for first-time language-learners seeking to expand their vocabulary, and those wishing to refresh their knowledge, while the compact format makes this the perfect portable communication companion. It also includes an invaluable pronunciation guide and handy bilingual index.
Twice a princess, twice exiled, Neslishah Sultan had an eventful life. When she was born in Istanbul in 1921, cannons were fired in the four corners of the Ottoman Empire, commemorative coins were issued in her name, and her birth was recorded in the official register of the palace. After all, she was an imperial princess and the granddaughter of Sultan Vahiddedin. But she was the last member of the imperial family to be accorded such honors: in 1922 Vahiddedin was deposed and exiled, replaced as caliph—but not as sultan—by his brother (and Neslishah’s other grandfather) Abdülmecid; in 1924 Abdülmecid was also removed from office, and the entire imperial family, including three-year-old Neslishah, was sent into exile.
Sixteen years later on her marriage to Prince Abdel Moneim, the son of the last khedive of Egypt, she became a princess of the Egyptian royal family. And when in 1952 her husband was appointed regent for Egypt’s infant king, she took her place at the peak of Egyptian society as the country’s first lady, until the abolition of the monarchy the following year. Exile followed once more, this time from Egypt, after the royal couple faced charges of treason. Eventually Neslishah was allowed to return to the city of her birth, where she died at the age of 91 in 2012.
Based on original documents and extensive personal interviews, this account of one woman’s extraordinary life is also the story of the end of two powerful dynasties thirty years apart.
In 1798, young French general Napoleon Bonaparte entered Egypt with a veteran army and a specialist group of savants—scientists, engineers, and artists—his aim being not just conquest, but the rediscovery of the lost Nile kingdom. A year later, in the ruins of an old fort in the small port of Rosetta, the savants made a startling discovery: a large, flat stone, inscribed in Greek, demotic Egyptian, and ancient hieroglyphics. This was the Rosetta Stone, key to the two-thousand-year mystery of hieroglyphs, and to Egypt itself. Two years later, French forces retreated before the English and Ottoman armies, but would not give up the stone. Caught between the opposing generals at the siege of Alexandria, British special agents went in to find the Rosetta Stone, rescue the French savants, and secure a fragile peace treaty. Discovery at Rosetta uses French, Egyptian, and English eyewitness accounts to tell the complete story of the discovery, decipherment, and capture of the Rosetta Stone, investigating the rivalries and politics of the time, and the fate of the stone today.
The 25 January 2011 uprising and the unprecedented dissent and discord to which it gave rise shattered the notion of homogeneity that had characterized state representations of Egypt and Egyptians since 1952. It allowed for the eruption of identities along multiple lines, including class, ideology, culture, and religion, long suppressed by state control. Concomitantly a profusion of women’s voices arose to further challenge the state-managed feminism that had sought to define and carefully circumscribe women’s social and civic roles in Egypt.
Women in Revolutionary Egypt takes the uprising as the point of departure for an exploration of how gender in post-Mubarak Egypt came to be rethought, reimagined, and contested. It examines key areas of tension between national and gender identities, including gender empowerment through art and literature, particularly graffiti and poetry, the disciplining of the body, and the politics of history and memory.
Shereen Abouelnaga argues that this new cartography of women’s struggle has to be read in a context that takes into consideration the micropolitics of everyday life as well as the larger processes that work to separate the personal from the political. She shows how a new generation of women is resisting, both discursively and visually, the notion of a fixed or ‘authentic’ notion of Egyptian womanhood in spite of prevailing social structures and in face of all gendered politics of imagined nation.
In 1957 the public sector in Egyptian cinema was established, followed shortly by the emergence of public-sector film production in 1960, only to end eleven years later, in 1971. Assailed with negativity since its demise, if not earlier, this state adventure in film production was dismissed as a complete failure, financially, administratively and, most importantly, artistically. Although some scholars have sporadically commented on the role played by this state institution, it has not been the object of serious academic research aimed at providing a balanced, nuanced general assessment of its overall impact. This issue of Cairo Papers hopes to address this gap in the literature on Egyptian cinema. After discussing the part played by the public sector in attempts to alleviate the financial crisis that threatened the film industry, this study investigates whether there was a real change in the general perception of the cinema, and the government’s attitude toward it, following the June 1967 Arab–Israeli war.
Along with football and religion, housing is a fundamental cornerstone of Egyptian life: it can make or break marriage proposals, invigorate or slow down the economy, and popularize or embarrass a ruler. Housing is political. Almost every Egyptian ruler over the last eighty years has directly associated himself with at least one large-scale housing project. It is also big business, with Egypt currently the world leader in per capita housing production, building at almost double China’s rate, and creating a housing surplus that counts in the millions of units.
Despite this, Egypt has been in the grip of a housing crisis for almost eight decades. From the 1940s onward, officials deployed a number of policies to create adequate housing for the country’s growing population. By the 1970s, housing production had outstripped population growth, but today half of Egypt’s one hundred million people cannot afford a decent home. Egypt’s Housing Crisis takes presidential speeches, parliamentary reports, legislation, and official statistics as the basis with which to investigate the tools that officials have used to ‘solve’ the housing crisis—rent control, social housing, and amnesties for informal self-building—as well as the inescapable reality of these policies’ outcomes. Yahia Shawkat argues that wars, mass displacement, and rural–urban migration played a part in creating the problem early on, but that neoliberal deregulation, crony capitalism and corruption, and neglectful planning have made things steadily worse ever since. In the final analysis he asks, is affordable housing for all really that hard to achieve?
Ursula Lindsey is a reporter, essayist and book reviewer who has lived and worked in North Africa and the Middle East since 2002. She has a long-standing interest in the built environment and urban development of Cairo. She has lived in Egypt and Morocco and reported for Newsweek, The New York Times and The Chronicle of Higher Education. Today she lives in Amman, Jordan, writes for The New York Review of Books and co-hosts a podcast on Arabic literature in translation, BULAQ.
None of the momentous challenges Arab universities face is unique either in kind or degree. Other societies exhibit some of the same pathologies—insufficient resources, high drop-out rates, feeble contributions to research and development, inappropriate skill formation for existing job markets, weak research incentive structures, weak institutional autonomy, and co-optation into the political order. But, it may be that the concentration of these pathologies and their depth is what sets the Arab world apart.
Missions Impossible seeks to explain the process of policymaking in higher education in the Arab world, a process that is shaped by the region’s politics of autocratic rule. Higher education in the Arab world is directly linked to crises in economic growth, social inequality and, as a result, regime survival. If unsuccessful, higher education could be the catalyst to regime collapse. If successful, it could be the catalyst to sustained growth and innovation—but that, too, could unleash forces that the region’s autocrats are unable to control. Leaders are risk-averse and therefore implement policies that tame the universities politically but in the process sap their capabilities for innovation and knowledge creation. The result is suboptimal and, argues John Waterbury in this thought-provoking study, unsustainable.
Skillfully integrating international debates on higher education with rich and empirically informed analysis of the governance and finance of higher education in the Arab world today, Missions Impossible explores and dissects the manifold dilemmas that lie at the heart of educational reform and examines possible paths forward.
The great nineteenth-century British traveler Edward William Lane (1801–76) was the author of a number of highly influential works: An Account of the Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians (1836), his translation of The Thousand and One Nights (1839–41), Selections from the Kur-an (1843), and the Arabic–English Lexicon (1863–93). Yet in 1831, publication of one of his greatest works, Description of Egypt, was delayed, and eventually dropped, mainly for financial reasons, by the publishing firm of John Murray. The manuscript was sold to the British Library by Lane’s widow in 1891, and was salvaged for publication as a hardcover book, in 2000, by Jason Thompson, nearly 170 years after its completion. Now available in paperback, this book, which takes the form of a journey through Egypt from north to south, with descriptions of all the ancient monuments and contemporary life that Lane explored along the way, will be of interest to both ancient and modern historians of Egypt, and is an essential companion to his Manners and Customs.