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Articles tagged "Egypt"

The Queue

Document No. 3 Examinations Conducted, Visible Symptoms, and Preliminary Diagnosis The patient is conscious, alert, and aware of his surroundings; blood pressure and pulse are normal; visible symptoms include: signs of choking and irritation to the nerves, blood surrounding entry and exit wounds caused by a [word crossed out], sign of recent abrasions and bruising on the back, pelvis, and forearm regions, [word crossed out; “injury” written above it] penetrating the pelvic...

The City and the Writer: In Cairo with Youssef Rakha

If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Cairo as you feel/see it? You could think of Cairo as a lie worn so thin by repetition that it actually shows the truth. A mega-village posing as a...

The City and the Writer: In Cairo with Mohamed Farag

October 2015 Special Series: Egypt   If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   Can you describe the mood of Cairo as you feel or see it? Can we describe the mood of Cairo in one word? I doubt it....

The City and the Writer: In Cairo with Gihan Omar

October 2015 Special Series: Egypt   If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities   Can you describe the mood of Cairo as you feel/see it? Cairo took its name from a word that means...

The City and the Writer: Special Series from Egypt, October 2015

Photography by Mohamed Farag About an hour before I get to downtown Cairo, which is to say that I get to one of its outskirts, I am thirsty. And I never quench that thirst while I am there. I’ve always run from Cairo, only stayed there because that’s where the plane landed. The juxtaposition found in the streets is compelling: the cats eating the oranges from the garbage in front of some ornate façade, the man with the wagonload of chicks beside the semi and the big,...

The City and the Writer: In Alexandria with Khaled Raouf

October 2015 Special Series: Egypt     If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                —Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities Can you describe the mood of Alexandria as you feel/see it? Aida is an old woman who sells flowers on the streets of...

from “The Amman Bride”

We really needed to talk. This was a difficult situation that we needed to find a way out of. He absolutely refused to share me with anyone else, and he wasn't prepared to lead a life with me where he was in the shadows, constantly in second place after my family. And he certainly didn't want to be my secret lover or be complicit in deceiving someone else, an innocent person. But I do want to get married and to have a family, both of which would be impossible with him. I...

Magdy El Shafee Arrested and Held at Tora Prison

Magdy El Shafee, author of Egypt’s first graphic novel, Metro, was arrested by security forces on Friday in downtown Cairo. According to fellow author Muhammad Aladdin, El Shafee was detained near Abdel Moneim Riyad Square, where clashes between Muslim Brotherhood supporters and protesters had raged throughout the day. According to legal activist Dr. Negad El Borai and multiple other sources, El Shafee had gone down to try to stop the clashes and was arrested at random along with...

Magdy El Shafee Publishes “Metro” in English

It's Metro Day at WWB. We're celebrating the publication of Magdy El Shafee's graphic novel, available today from Metropolitan Books in Chip Rossetti's translation. Readers will recall that WWB published an extract in February 2008, and that the book was seized on publication in Egypt and Magdy and his publisher put on trial. You can hear Magdy talk about his book in this interview. The book has appeared in Italy but is still not available in the original Arabic, in Egypt or...

Tahrir Square, One Year Ago

As the events of the Arab Spring unfolded last year, WWB published a number of dispatches from and about the affected countries.  One of our favorites came from Egyptian graphic novelist Magdy El Shafee. With his fellow artists, Magdy was creating and distributing a graphic journal on the abuses of the Mubarak regime. When we invited him to report from Tahrir Square, Magdy documented the uprising exclusively for WWB. One of the challenges of recording demonstrations is capturing the...

Illustrating Conflict: Perspectives from FIBDA

Under the heading "Algiers, Bubbles without Frontiers," this year's International Comics Festival of Algiers (Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Alger, or FIBDA) provides an important space for discussions and works around history, war, and conflict. I previously wrote about FIBDA in this series with an eye to the role it has played in the evolution and renaissance of Algerian comics. In this installment I would like to focus on the role comics can play as a...

The Guest

She has become more like her grandmother than her mother, Hend thinks to herself. She remembered how she used to squirm in her grandmother’s lap, an angry child with a bare bottom. She was hard to keep up with as a child, light and thin, teething and crawling and speaking well before any of her brothers did. She proved that she was a creature capable of surviving and flourishing on the barest necessities of life. Her mother often left her to her own devices. She would crawl up the...

July 2011


The Egyptian Revolution Won’t be Fooled

Historically, popular revolutions are distinguished by moral purity and an adherence to lofty human principles—dignity, freedom, justice, and truth.  Weren’t these principles the slogans raised by the Egyptian revolution of January 25, 2011?  Popular revolutions burst out against the corruption of governments and the falsehood of absolute powers in all their forms, for absolute power only arises and continues in power, in both the nation and the family, on the basis...

Egyptian Arabic


from “Metro”

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Annihilation, from Pyramid Texts

. . . of an old family, much noted, mentioned in manuscripts that have yet to be printed. He personally was well known, much in demand in the town and elsewhere. Those with experience in climbing its four corners assert that his extraordinary gifts were obvious. His steps over the stones had a different rhythm and, despite his forefathers' long history, he brought to it something that no one before him had, for no one before him had ever reached the summit by night. And when! On...

The Pharoahs of Egypt

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I Loved You for Your Voice by Sélim Nassib

Modern Egypt is a dream unfulfilled. Independence from Britain was supposed to usher in a glorious era in which Egypt would unite the Middle East under the banner of pan-Arabism. That dream died in 1967, when Egyptian forces suffered a catastrophic defeat in the Six Day War against Israel. Egypt's charismatic president Gamal Abdel Nasser resigned soon after, and in recent years Egyptians have lived under a notably corrupt and incompetent dictatorship propped up by billions of dollars in...

The Rooster’s Egg: A Fable of Ancient Thebes

It is hard not to read this story as a lesson about the arbitrary nature of power and attendant reversals of fortune. Some historical background: Akhenaten, originally Amenhotep IV (1353-1335 B.C.), was the "heretic" pharaoh who officially rejected the traditional Egyptian pantheon, and instituted a new, monotheistic religion, centering on the worship of the sun disk, Aten. However, as modern Egyptians reading this would know, the priests of Amun in fact got the last laugh: after...

Egyptian Literature Today

As the largest Arabic-speaking country (at 70+ million inhabitants and counting), Egypt, with its teeming capital of Cairo, plays a disproportionately large role in the intellectual and cultural life of the Arab world. From the pan-Arab nationalism of the 1950s and 1960s to the Islamist movement of today, Egypt has always been at the forefront of new ideas in the region. But while Egypt is very much part of a greater Arabic-speaking literary and cultural milieu, Egyptians are also keenly...

The Dark and The Daylight

NOTE: Mahmoud El-Wardani (born Cairo, 1950) has published six novels and several collections of short stories. Typically his works are dispassionate and discontinuous depictions of ambiguous, disturbing situations. Imprisoned for student activism in the 1970s, el-Wardani was also one of those who transported the bodies of deceased soldiers during the 1973 war. For several years now, el-Wardani has worked as a senior editor of Cairo's weekly literary magazine Akhbar al-Adab. In his...

The Veiler of All Deeds

NOTE: Born in 1968, Hamdy Abu Golayyel is of Bedouin origin and lives in Cairo. In keeping with a growing trend in Egyptian fiction, Thieves in Retirement-the novel from which this excerpt is taken-is set in a crowded Cairo apartment building, the various inhabitants of which offer a cross-section of Egyptian society, while highlighting a modern sense of displacement and urban alienation. Thieves in Retirement will be published by Syracuse University Press in 2006. People are...

Happiness

I believe the stretcher whisked by two as the patient's coma is interrupted on it. I doubt the sympathy in the eyes that follow the scene. I respect the fisherman because he is the only one who understands the fish. Then I peel its scales spitefully. I have no patience to contemplate the sea while my fingers are stained with the palette's colors. At the moment of waking my spirit is dark. I do not remember any of last night's dreams except the urge...

When Clothes Were Small

NOTE: This poem is taken from a debut collection published in 2005, entitled Yesterday I Lost A Button. All of the poems in the book revolved around clothes-their personalities, their memories, and their desires. Only 24 years old at the time of the book's well-received publication, Fathy is a promising new name in Egyptian poetry. Neither thread had a desire to couple but they were forced and out of that union fabrics were born to a traditional, arranged marriage the...

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