Articles tagged "Egypt"


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…...

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…...

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…...

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…...

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…...

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…...

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…...

film icon Censorship in Egypt: An Interview with Magdy El Shafee

In February 2008, WWB published an extract from the first Egyptian graphic novel for adults, Magdy El Shafee's Metro. Set in a chaotic modern Cairo pulsing with economic and social instability, the…...

Imagining more Autumns for North Africa’s Patriarchs: The Dictator Novel in Egypt

In the mid 1970s, at a time when Latin American countries chafed under brutal dictatorships, an amazing literary phenomenon swept through the region. Three powerful novels were published within months…...

A Rumbling Octopus: Egyptians Take to the Streets in Protest

"The square’s full.  The streets feeding into it are full…There’s never been a demonstration like this before…Egypt appeared to be one great demonstration, united in one…...

A Border Passage by Leila Ahmed

I nearly gave up on Leila Ahmed’s memoir A Border Passage. After a lovely, quiet opening that describes the wind in the trees at the house on the edge of Cairo where the author grew up, the narrative…...

Egyptian Arabic


Dispatches: The Seventh Heaven by Naguib Mahfouz
by Geoff Wisner

In August 2006, just a few hours after I finished reading The Seventh Heaven, the final work by the Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz, I heard that he had died at the age of 94—a spooky coincidence…...

Dispatches: Echoes of an Autobiography by Naguib Mahfouz

My reaction to the work of Naguib Mahfouz has been exceptionally mixed. I have enjoyed the light touch and raffish characters of short novels like Adrift on the Nile (my review) yet I could make no headway…...

A Kind of Farewell

Over the past months, I've been living in Cairo and posting regularly about the local literary scene to this blog. In a matter of days, perhaps even by the time this is posted, I'll be back in…...

The Changing Times of the Egyptian Novel

One of my main activities since arriving in Cairo has been to try to update myself on recent developments in the Egyptian novel. I have just finished a work that's received much attention in the local…...

Hosam Aboul-Ela in Cairo

Hosam Aboul-Ela teaches in the department of English and the program in World Cultures and Literatures at the University of Houston. He has lived most of his life in two exotic foreign countries—Egypt…...

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…...

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,…...

Mrs. Saniya’s Holiday

NOTE: In this portrait of a seamstress (a khiyaata) and her labors of love over the sewing machine, the holiday referred to in the title is the èEid al-Fitr, the three-day feast marking the end…...

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…...

Things Elude Me

One day I will pass by the house that used to be my home and try not to measure the distance from it to my friends' homes. The plump widow whose cries for love woke me up many times is no longer my…...

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