Tag: Cairo

One of the questions to be asked of a translated novel is ‘why was this translated?’  The answers can range from the author’s perceived importance, to providing foreign readers with cultural insight, or to publishing economics. (More…)

The year was 1942 and I was eighteen years old. I was in Cairo on holiday arranged by my mother. She ran a hostel for the expats in Cairo. If I go into detail about mother’s job, I’ll never get to tell how I encountered King Farouk. (More…)

At first glance, the idea of England as an arena where two great religious forces meet seems rather far-fetched, but there is more Moslem activity in some of our English towns than people imagine. Turning over some files of the Kibla (a Meccan newspaper), one comes across passages like the following: (More…)

Never mind the quenelle. There’s a new hand sign in Egypt. The Rabia, as it is called, consists of holding up four fingers, with the thumb tucked in, as a protest against military rule. The gesture is Islamist, and refers to the massacre of supporters of deposed president Morsi, which took place in Cairo’s Rabia al-Adawiya Square on August 14th, 2013. (More…)

There’s an extremely passionate debate circulating in Middle Eastern studies circles about an article by Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi. A noted analyst, al-Qassemi argues that Gulf cities have seized the mantle of “centers of the Arab world” from the traditional capitols of Cairo, Beirut, and Baghdad. (More…)

Besides their release this year in beautifully packaged vinyl editions, and use of Mediterranean field recordings, Mutamassik’s album Rekkez, and Savage Republic’s Varvakios LP, don’t seem to have a lot in common. However, both come from an aesthetic of fatalistic, yet rebellious, sonic energy, fuelled by an urgency to burst into a future weighed down by ancient history. (More…)

Eighteen months ago, we flooded public squares across the Middle East. We sought to situate ourselves against the old order, en-nizaam – the regime. En-nizaam meant more than just Hosni Mubarak and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces. It referred to an entire way of doing things, one that mired the region in dysfunction when the old empires finally collapsed.  (More…)

Shall I respond violently? No. The bloody mist that hangs above the ancient cities- Jalalabad, Quetta, Peshawar- reeks of vengeance. Shall I grieve endlessly? No. I am weary of perpetual sadness. I will not pout among clouds of opium like the ghosts of Khorramshahr. (More…)

I recently traveled to Tahrir Square in order to gain a richer perspective on the Egyptian Revolution. I was in Tahrir for the period immediately after the runoff elections, when the country was gripped with uncertainty regarding its final outcome. The graffiti on Mohamed Mahmoud street has been seen globally. These new designs are particularly evocative of the square’s current atmosphere. (More…)

I was one of thousands protesting all over Cairo last week, and of dozens who spent their weekends in Tahrir Square during the first anniversary of Hosni Mubarak’s February 2011 resignation. The euphoria has faded, and much of the Arab Spring’s optimism has turned to cynicism. However, this is why I believed that February 2012 was the best time to finally travel there. (More…)

The falafel was unlike any I’d ever seen. If the waiter had not identified it as such to the customer seated next to us, I’m not sure I’d have even known what it was. Cylindrical, toasted dark brown, they could very well have been kibbeh, pinecone-shaped, fried bulghur wheat pastries, stuffed with onions, ground meat, and pine nuts. (More…)