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Book Title: Cairo: My City, Our Revolution|
The author of the book: Ahdaf Soueif
Date of issue: January 19th 2012
ISBN 13: 9780747549628
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 798 KB
Edition: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Read full description of the books Cairo: My City, Our Revolution:This was an enlightening and uplifting read. To learn more of what happened in Cairo, in and around Tahrir during the days of revolution in late January, early February 2011 is quite an experience. Here we are not filtered by the Western press or government spokesmen. We hear from an Egyptian writer who was there along with her friends and family.
A major fact I learned was the variety of peoples in the square, people from all corners of Egyptian life, all religious sectors, economic and educational levels. All want an end to a government which had despoiled their land in its own interest while also killing and imprisoning its own citizens.
"You could say that this is normal, healthy: people are
working out what they believe in and stand for -- and they're
not used to working together politically because anyone who
tried to work together politically over the last sixty years
was destroyed. So the revolutionary forces are really doing
what they're meant to do and our society is engaged in a
process that will take time." (p86)
In a section labeled "Interruption", Soueif acknowledges, some month after the initial revolt, that future readers may see results she at the time of writing has not anticipated. She tries to explain the background for the revolution and the difficulties for the future.
Now eight months later, our landscape is more ambiguous,
more confused. I try to describe it and big, dramatic cliches
crowd into my head: the Forces of Darkness. the Battle
against Evil. but cliches can also be true descriptions.
Hosni Mubarak threatened that it was either him or chaos.
Not because that was the natural order of things, but because
if we chose no-him the forces that he represented would
work to create chaos. Mubarak and his family were the
packaging, the casing that held the Forces of Darkness
together, that utilised them, through his National Democratic
Party, his security apparatus, his corrupt government and
the corrupt elite inserted into almost every leadership
in the country. Now the casing's been smashed and the
Darkness is out there, unchannelled, panicked, rampant,
twisting into every nook and cranny as it seeks to wrap
around us again." (p66)
Can there be any doubt why the time after the revolution has been so difficult.
One final image left me so hopeful for the people of Egypt. On Fridays and Sundays in Tahrir there were religious services. Friday's these were started with Muslim prayers and sermons and followed with a Christian Mass. On Sunday the order was reversed. People of both faiths attended both. Contrary to the negative publicity being put out by probable Egyptian government sources, there was mutual respect and brotherhood in the square. (The Islamic Brotherhood was not a participant though members did participate)
Highly recommended for an insider's view of The January Revolt in Egypt.
Read information about the authorAhdaf Soueif (Arabic: أهداف سويف) is an Egyptian short story writer, novelist and political and cultural commentator. She was educated in Egypt and England - studied for a PhD in linguistics at the University of Lancaster.
Her novel The Map of Love (1999) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and subsequently translated into 21 languages. Soueif writes primarily in English, but her Arabic-speaking readers say they can hear the Arabic through the English. Along with in-depth and sensitive readings of Egyptian history and politics, Soueif also writes about Palestinians in her fiction and non-fiction. A shorter version of "Under the Gun: A Palestinian Journey" was originally published in The Guardian and then printed in full in Soueif's recent collection of essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground (2004). Soueif has also translated Mourid Barghouti's I Saw Ramallah (with a foreword by Edward Said) from Arabic into English.
In 2007, Soueif was one of more than 100 artists and writers who signed an open letter initiated by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and the South West Asian, North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ) and calling on the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival "to honor calls for an international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions, by discontinuing Israeli consulate sponsorship of the LGBT film festival and not cosponsoring events with the Israeli consulate."
In 2008 she initiated the first Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest). Soueif is also a cultural and political commentator for the Guardian newspaper and she has been reporting on the Egyptian revolution. In January 2012 she published Cairo: My City, Our Revolution – a personal account of the first year of the Egyptian revolution
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