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On the State of Egypt: A Novelist's Provocative Reflections (A Tahrir Studies Edition) Hardcover – April 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 202 pages
  • Publisher: The American University in Cairo Press (April 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 977416461X
  • ISBN-13: 978-9774164613
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,910,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'Al Aswany is a world writer, making Egyptian concerns into human ones and beautifully illuminating our always extraordinary and sometimes sad and baffling world.' - The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author


Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. A dentist by profession, Al Aswany is the author of the bestselling novel The Yacaoubian Building(AUC Press, 2005), Chicago (AUC Press, 2007), and the novella and short story collection Friendly Fire (AUC Press 2009).

Jonathan Wright is the translator of Judgment Day by Rasha al Ameer (AUC Press, 2011).

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mary Whipple HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Alaa Al Aswany made his literary mark in 2002 when he wrote The Yacoubian Building, the "best-selling novel in Egypt for two years," according to National Geographic, and a hugely popular Egyptian film. Now Al Aswany may become even more famous for a series of articles published in Egypt's opposition press from 2005 to the date of the revolution. Always a believer in human rights, which he believed were being trampled during the thirty-year rule of Hosni Mubarak, the author was a vocal supporter of those who were beginning to challenge Mubarak publicly. In this collection of his articles, beginning in 2005, Al Aswany uses his literary power and popularity to try to reach all elements of Egyptian society, examining some of the issues which have separated Egyptians from each other in an effort to show the importance of cooperation for the larger purpose of ousting the regime and bringing about democracy in a country which has known only despotism, poverty, and corruption for decades. Few who read these articles will doubt their impact on the populace, leading eventually to the demonstrations in Tahrir Square and the far-reaching revolution which began on January 25, 2011, and continued for eighteen days.

At the beginning of the book, Al Aswany explains that repression and poverty were so long-standing that the populace, over two or three generations, had learned submission, and no organized system existed to provide a way for the masses to rebel. Those lucky enough to have jobs, had to work, and these found their own personal solutions to their economic and personal crises. Many talented and educated people left the country because they did not have personal connections to government officials who would hire them. The poor starved.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robin on October 23, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Buyer beware: the description of this book makes it sound like a reflection on events looking back after the revolution BUT IT'S NOT. This is a series of articles written by the author over a period of time, and none of it, really, gives a post revolution summary or explanation. Nonetheless, it is well written and offers a useful perspective -- just be sure you know what you're getting.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Didaskalex VINE VOICE on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
****
"Alaa Al Aswany is among the best writers in the Middle East today, a suitable heir to the mantle worn by Naguib Mahfouz, his great predecessor." -Jay Parini, The Guardian (UK)

In a collection of time progressing essays, Aswany reflects on a revolution, he claims was inevitable. He discusses the future of Egypt, and expresses his views as one of the Arab world's progressive voice, and a human right advocate. Going back to the first spark that ignited the January 25th demonstrations, when a Face book posting, called on Egyptians to meet in Tahrir (Liberation) Square to protest the three decade of Egypt's corrupt governance, calling for Mubarak's ouster. Aswany addresses many of the questions being asked by embattled Egyptians and the outside world: How could be the next president, Egypt's potential savior? How could he, in this chaos, be democratically elected, in a political system where only jerks, self-seekers and pushovers have previously monopolized the elections? How can a democratic reform be effected among a people used to such hypocrisy of the religious observant who commits most grievous corruption?

The political observer explains why the peaceful revolt that surprised the whole world was liable and bound to happen, in a candid assessment of both the potential and limitations that would shape Egypt's near future. As an accredited novelists, Aswany is divided between idealists, who see a better world even as they strive to portray it, and realists, who interpret life in a harsher and more realistic view; nothing will really change. Although he is an earnest politician, he naturally assumes his idealism.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Souzan Abdelmassih on February 24, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Bit shallow in areas when you need more information. Author needs to provide reasonng for his conclusions!
Generally, its a good start. May be Alaa Al Aswany can review the book and issue newer versions!
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