In 1986, when this memoir opens, Khaled al-Berry is a typical fourteen-year-old boy in Asyut in Upper Egypt. Soon, his love of soccer draws him into the orbit of members of a radical Islamist group, university students from the surrounding countryside who play the game regularly on a pitch near his home. Attracted at first by the image of the group as “strong Muslims,” al-Berry’s involvement develops until he finds himself deeply committed to its beliefs and implicated in its activities. This ends when, in his third year at university, he is arrested on campus by the police and thrown in jail. His experience of confinement and a return to life on the outside lead to his eventual alienation from radical Islam.
Vulnerable, searingly honest, gripping, and often funny, this tale of one man’s journey to the edge of radicalism and back also gives critical and intelligent insight into an Islamist movement’s debates, preoccupations, motives, and intentions.
What are the long-term structural features of the Egyptian economy? What are the factors that have facilitated or inhibited its performance? This crucial and timely work answers these questions and more by examining the most important economic decisions to have impacted the Egyptian economy since 1952 and the political factors behind them.
Drawing on Khalid Ikram’s extensive knowledge of economic policymaking at the highest levels, The Political Economy of Reforms in Egypt lays out the enduring features of the Egyptian economy and its performance since 1952 before presenting an account of policymaking, growth, and structural change under the country’s successive presidents to the present day. Topics covered include agrarian reforms; the Aswan High Dam; the move towards Arab socialism and a planned economy; the reversal of strategy and the infitah; fiscal, monetary, and exchange-rate policies; consumer subsidies; external debt crises; negotiations between Egypt and international donors and financial institutions; privatization; labor and employment; and poverty and income distribution. The analysis concludes with an examination of institutional reforms and development strategies to tackle the Egyptian economy’s structural problems and lay the foundation for sustained and rapid growth.
This easy-to-use beginner’s level guide to Egyptian Colloquial Arabic (ECA) grammar is the ideal supplement for students of ECA as a foreign language. Keda Mazbuut is divided into twenty-five lessons, each devoted to a key grammatical rule, with examples to illustrate usage followed by a variety of exercises. Drawing on twenty-five years of experience as a full-time teacher of Arabic, Mona Hassan has organized the lesson topics to gradually progress in difficulty, from basic nominal sentences to more complex grammatical structures such as the imperative and conditional sentences. All rules are explained in straightforward English, while words and phrases are provided in both Arabic script and transcribed Arabic, accompanied by audio files to facilitate students’ ECA pronunciation. With its clear, user-friendly structure, Keda Mazbuut is designed to encourage students to work through grammatical rules at home, allowing them to devote more class time to the speaking activities that reinforce those rules.
Set in Cairo in the early 1950s, this novel portrays the psychological torment of Omar, an ardent
revolutionary in his youth who in middle age has been left behind by Nasser’s 1952 Revolution.
His conscience has died. As he struggles for psychological renewal, he sacrifices his work and
his family to a series of illicit love affairs, which simply increase his alienation from himself and
from the rest of the world.
Othman Bayyumi joins the civil service at the lowest point of the professional scale as an archives clerk. From the first minute in his career he is seized by a mad desire to become one day director-general of the department, and his eagerness to fulfill this ambition becomes an exalted and arduous religious quest, for the sake of which no sacrifice is too great.
First published in Arabic in 1983, this brief but powerful parable is set in a mythical, timeless Middle East. It is presented as the journal of a wanderer known as Ibn Fattouma, whose boyhood tutor had extolled the virtues of travel as a way of finding the true meaning of life. He joins a caravan and sets out to explore the world, his ultimate destination the enigmatic land of Gebel.
Raised in an Islamic society, Ibn Fattouma finds to his surprise that many of the countries he visits, though heathen, are in some ways superior to his own. His first stop results in marriage to a non-believer, and children. However, war with another country and a clash with a city official cause him to lose his family, and he is forced to leave. In another country he is imprisoned for twenty years, accused of crimes against the state. Civil war frees him, and he moves on again, always seeking an intangible he is never able to find, always vulnerable to the winds of social and political change.
Finally, he joins a caravan bound for Gebel—a country so distant and mysterious that no one has ever been known to reach it and return to tell the tale.
Based on historical events, the lives of two women living centuries apart are bound together by an enigmatic painting in this mesmerizing debut.
Art historian Yasmine has been working on restoring an unsigned portrait of a strikingly beautiful girl from the Napoleonic Era, when she discovers that the artist has embedded a lock of hair into the painting, something highly unusual. The mysterious painting came into the museum’s possession without record, and Yasmine sets out to uncover the secret concealed within this captivating work.
Meanwhile, at the close of the French Campaign in Egypt, sixteen-year-old Zeinab, the daughter of a prominent sheikh, is drawn into French high society when Napoleon himself requests her presence. Enamored by the foreign customs of the Europeans, she finds herself on a dangerous path, one that may ostracize her from her family and culture.
Seamlessly merging fiction with history, art and politics, modern day Cairo with its opulent past, this compelling story of two women caught between worlds and entangled in matters of the heart launches an entrancing new literary voice.
The enormous influence of the Egyptian film industry on popular culture and collective imagination across the Arab world is widely acknowledged, but little is known about its concrete workings behind the scenes. Making Film in Egypt provides a fascinating glimpse into the lived reality of commercial film production in today’s Cairo, with an emphasis on labor hierarchies, production practices, and the recent transition to digital technologies. Drawing on in-depth interviews and participant observation among production workers, on-set technicians, and artistic crew members, Chihab El Khachab sets out to answer a simple question: how do filmmakers deal with the unpredictable future of their films? The answer unfolds through a journey across the industry’s political economy, its labor processes, its technological infrastructure, its logistical and artistic work, and its imagined audiences. The result is a complex and nuanced portrait of the Arab world’s largest film industry, rich in ethnographic detail and theoretical innovations in media anthropology, media studies, and Middle East anthropology.
There is a great deal to be said about ideas and imaginations of the “future” when one does not have the luxury of maintaining a slot in the present. In the midst of acute conditions of precarity and structural violences and vulnerabilities of different forms (political, economic, social, infrastructural) and magnitudes, Egyptians find ways to adapt and adjust, even experiment, with different arrangements and forms of connectedness.
By following, tracing, and accompanying friends and networks of friendship in and across Egypt’s two biggest cities, Cairo and Alexandria, this ethnographic account aims to highlight some of the contemporary meanings, forms, and purposes of friendship among young Egyptians with the aim of renewing and reviving the question, “What can friendships do?”
Against a backdrop of conditions of precarity and the ruins of finance capitalism, this study examines the manifestations of how the relationship of friendship manages to re-invent and re-define itself. Moreover, it asks whether new modes of relationality, companionship, and intimacy can be cultivated and practiced given the current neoliberal conditions of living. The questions that this study attempts to open up are focused on the re-workings, reconfigurations, and re-makings of practices of sociality and intimacy between friends.
The latest novel from renowned Palestinian writer Sahar Khalifeh, a deeply poetic account of love and resistance through a young girl’s eyes.
Nidal, after many decades of restless exile, returns to her family home in Nablus, where she had lived with her grandmother before the 1948 Nakba that scattered her family across the globe. She was a young girl when the popular resistance began and, through the bloodshed and bitter struggle, Nidal fell in love with freedom fighter Rabie. He was her first and only real love—him and all that he represented: Palestine in its youth and spring, the resistance fighters in the hills, the nation as embodied in her family home and in the land.
Many years later, Nidal and Rabie meet, and he encourages her to read her uncle Amin’s memoirs. She immerses herself in the details of her family and national past and discovers that her absent mother had been nurse and lover to Palestinian leader Abdel-Qader al-Husseini.
Set in the final days of the British Mandate, Sahar Khalifeh’s spins an epic tale filled with emotional urgency and political immediacy.
This compelling volume examines important and cross-cutting themes in the study of contemporary Middle East and North African politics and international relations in the current climate. Drawing together contributions from scholars based within the region and beyond, it weaves together essential interdisciplinary, conceptually rich, and forward-looking content. Chapters cover population and youth, civil–military relations, soft power and geopolitical competition, regionalization and internationalization of conflict, the role of oil in reconstruction efforts, extra-regional actors, environmental politics, and specifically, the Israel–Palestine conflict. Students are supported with an extended and innovative glossary, including key concepts, actors and abbreviations. New Perspectives on Middle East Politics serves as an ideal primer and companion volume for scholars of contemporary Middle East Studies, as well as for policy professionals, journalists and the general reader engaging and re-engaging with the region.
Mohamed Abdelraouf, Gulf Research Centre, Jeddah, United Arab Emirates
Dina Arakji, Carnegie Middle East Center, Beirut, Lebanon
Eyad AlRefai, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England and King Abdulaziz University, Saudi Arabia
Philipp Casula, University of Basel, Switzerland
Ishac Diwan, Paris Sciences et Lettres and Ecole Normale Superieure, Paris, France
Seif Hendy, American University in Cairo, Egypt
Simon Mabon, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England
Robert Mason, Lancaster University, Lancashire, England
An American-born traveler to one of Istanbul’s oldest communities receives an unexpected welcome in this heart-warming and romantic debut. Fanis is at the center of a dwindling yet stubbornly proud community of Rum, Greek Orthodox Christians, who have lived in Istanbul for centuries. When Daphne, the American-born niece of an old friend, arrives in the city in search of her roots, she is met with a hearty welcome. Fanis is smitten by the beautiful and aloof outsider, who, despite the age difference, reminds him of the fiancée he lost in the 1955 pogrom. Kosmas, a master pastry chef on the lookout for a good Rum wife, also falls instantly for Daphne. She is intrigued by him, but can she love him in return? Or will a family secret, deeply rooted in the painful history of the city itself, threaten their chances?
This story of love, hopeful beginnings, and ancient traditions introduces a sparkling new literary voice sure to transport and entertain.
Honorable Mention in the ‘General Fiction’ category of the 2022 Eric Hoffer Award
Where do people meet, form relations of trust, and begin debating social and political issues? Where do social movements start? In this fascinating collection, scholars and activists from a wealth of disciplinary backgrounds, including sociology, anthropology, history, and political science, take a fresh look at these questions and the factors leading to political and social change in the Arab world from a spatial perspective. Based on original field work in Egypt, Kuwait, Morocco, and Palestine, Spaces of Participation connects and reconnects social, cultural, and political participation with urban space. It explores timely themes such as formal and informal spaces of participation, alternative spaces of cultural production, space reclamation, and cultural activism, and the reconfiguring of space through different types of contestation. It also covers a range of spaces that include sports clubs, arts centers, and sites of protest and resistance, as well as virtual spaces such as social media platforms, in the process of examining the relationships and tensions between physical and virtual space. Spaces of Participation underlines the temporal and transformative quality of participatory spaces and how they are shaped by their respective political contexts, highlighting different forms of access, control, and contestation.
The 2011 Egyptian Revolution gave birth to an unprecedented explosion of popular political and social expression in the form of bold, defiant, and often unforgettable street art and graffiti. This acted as both the revolution’s chronicle, its commentary and response to the headlong rush of events, and as a driver of the revolution, a powerful means of influencing and directing what people felt, thought, and did during the heady days and months that followed from the 25 January 2011 uprising. Wall Talk takes us on an epic journey through the street art and graffiti that filled Egypt’s streets between 25 January 2011 and 30 June 2012. Matched with a corresponding timeline of the key events of those eighteen months, it presents an enthralling and invaluable record of a moment in time that changed the course of Egyptian history forever. A Zeitouna publication.
This handsome boxed set brings together five delightfully individual books, each beautifully illustrated with archival images and postcards, on some of Egypt’s most iconic institutions and landmarks. Included are: The Suez Canal: A History (edited by Sherif Boraie), The Egyptian Bourse (by Samir Raafat), Downtown Cairo (by Ola Seif; edited by Sherif Boraie), Egyptian Postage, 1866–1967 (preface by Samir Raafat; edited by Sherif Boraie), and Cinema Cairo: Dream Factory on the Nile (by Rasha Azab; edited by Sherif Boraie). Between them covering the period from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century, the books illustrate how these icons, which are deeply embedded in the life of the nation, came to shape the course of modern Egypt and to lay its foundations.
Pharaonic Egypt sheds light on the principal events, cultural and social processes, and religious beliefs that influenced and shaped the development and flowering of a civilization on the Nile that lasted for thousands of years. Beginning with the first Neolithic cultures that settled along the banks of the Nile, this volume explores the era that saw the founding of the Predynastic Egyptian state. With the unification of the two Egyptian kingdoms, the pharaohs began to celebrate and immortalize their lives and achievements with the construction of stone monuments. The most impressive examples of their kind are arguably the pyramid tombs of the Old Kingdom, whose architectural evolution can be traced from the first step pyramid of Djoser to the magnificent pyramids of Giza, and on to the necropolises of Abusir and Saqqara. Alongside representations of the sovereign, sculpture and private burials are also examined, two areas that found new expressive forms during the First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom. Ample space is devoted to the pharaohs of the New Kingdom, who with their military campaigns made Egypt one of the most powerful empires of the Near East, while stunning color photographs highlight the prodigious output of Egyptian art in all its splendor. The book’s final chapter examines the last centuries of the age of the pharaohs, up to the period of Greek and then Roman control of Egypt, an era when pharaonic culture came into contact and, in some cases, fused with the Hellenistic and Roman cultures of the time.
The ancient Egyptians were firmly convinced of the importance of magic, which was both a source of supernatural wisdom and a means of affecting one’s own fate. The gods themselves used it for creating the world, granting mankind magical powers as an aid to the struggle for existence. Magic formed a link between human beings, gods, and the dead. Magicians were the indispensable guardians of the god-given cosmic order, learned scholars who were always searching for the Magic Book of Thoth, which could explain the wonders of nature. Egyptian Magic, illustrated with wonderful and mysterious objects from European museum collections, describes how Egyptian sorcerers used their craft to protect the weakest members of society, to support the gods in their fight against evil, and to imbue the dead with immortality, and explores the arcane systems and traditions of the occult that governed this well-organized universe of ancient Egypt.
During the half-millennium from the eleventh through the sixth century bc, the power and the glory of the imperial pharaohs of the New Kingdom crumbled in the face of internal crises and external pressures, ultimately reversed by invaders from Nubia and consolidated by natives of the Nile Delta following a series of Assyrian invasions.
Much of this era remains obscure, with little consensus among Egyptologists. Against this background, Aidan Dodson reconsiders the evidence and proposes a number of new solutions to the problems of the period. He also considers the era’s art, architecture, and archaeology, including the royal tombs of Tanis, one of which yielded the intact burials of no fewer than five pharaohs. Afterglow of Empire is extensively illustrated with images of this material, much of which is little known to non-specialists.
By the author of the bestselling Amarna Sunset and Poisoned Legacy.
Transporting the Luxor obelisk from Egypt to Paris was one of the great engineering triumphs of the early nineteenth century. No obelisk this size (two hundred and fifty tons) had left Egypt in nearly two thousand years, and the task of bringing it fell to a young engineer, Apollinaire Lebas, a man of extraordinary resolve and ability. His is a tale of adventure, excitement, and drama, but one hardly known to the English-speaking world.
Lebas’ team was struck by the plague; they ran out of wood; they had to wait four months for the Nile to rise to free their beached ship. But in the end, The Luxor, with its precious cargo on board, sailed down the Nile. On October 25, 1836 before two hundred thousand cheering Parisians, Lebas raised his obelisk. He was rewarded handsomely by his king, a medal with his name on it was struck, and his body lies in the famous Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris along with French luminaries. Now this first-ever translation of Lebas’ account, including digitally enhanced copies of his beautiful drawings, makes his remarkable story available to a wide audience.
Egypt has a particular longue durée, a continuity of preservation in deep time, not seen in other parts of the world. Over the centuries, ancient buildings have been adopted for purposes that differed from the original. Temple sites have been transformed into places of worship for new deities or turned into houses and tombs. Tombs, in turn, have been adapted to function as human dwellings already in the Late Antique Period.
The Afterlives of Egyptian History expands on the traditional academic approach of studying the original function and sociopolitical circumstances of ancient Egyptian objects, texts, and sites to examine their secondary lives by exploring their reuse, modification, and reinterpretation.
Written in honor of the Egyptologist, Edward Bleiberg, this volume brings together a group of luminous scholars from a wide range of fields, including Egyptian archaeology, philology, conservation, and art, to explore the historical circumstances, as well as political and economic situations, of people who have come into contact with ancient Egypt, both in antiquity and in more recent times.