Magdy El Shafee's Metro, the first adult Arabic graphic novel, is set in a chaotic modern Cairo pulsing with financial and social insecurity. Shihab, a young software designer who has been forced into debt by corrupt officials, decides to get out of his dilemma by taking “direct action”: robbing a bank, with the help of Mustafa, his loyal but reluctant sidekick. He finds himself caught in a vortex of financial and political corruption; the only relief comes from Dina, an idealistic journalist. In this extract Shihab plans and executes the robbery with surprising results. Note that panels should be read from right to left.
From Metro. Copyright Magdy El Shafee. Translation copyright 2008 by Humphrey Davies. All rights reserved.
Magdy El Shafee was born in Libya in 1961. He started a comic series for children in Alaa Eddin in 2003 and started publishing strips in El Dostoor in 2005. That year he also launched the first comics website in Arabic, www.magdycomics.com. He has published many underground and independent works in Egypt, and in 2006 was recognized by UNESCO. Hi book Metro, the first adult Arabic graphic novel in Egypt, was published in 2012.
Translated from Arabic by Humphrey Davies
Humphrey Davies has translated several works of fiction from Arabic, including The Yacoubian Building by Alaa-Al-Aswany (American University in Cairo Press, 2004; Harper Perennial, 2006), Tales of Dayrut by Muhammad Mustagab (American University in Cairo Press, forthcoming), Ahmed Alaidy’s Being Abbas El Abd (AUC Press 2006), Brains Confounded by the Ode of Abu Shaduf Expounded by Yusuf al-Shirbini, and Elias Khoury’s and Yalo (London, MacLehose Press) and Gate of the Sun (Harvill-Secker 2005/Vintage 2006; Archipelago Books 2005), for which he was awarded the inaugural Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. He was shortlisted for the Best Translated Book Award in 2014 for Leg over Leg Vol. 1 by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq. He lives in Cairo and may be contacted at [email protected].