On the State of Egypt by Alaa Al Aswany

A Novelist’s Provocative Reflections, translated by jonathan Wright.

The bestselling author of the Yacoubian Building and Chicago turns his attention to current affairs in Egypt

In the novels and short stories of Alaa Aswany, characters struggle with class differences, police brutality, poverty, sexual harassment and political corruption ; now, in a new collection of the weekly newspaper columns previously published in Arabic, Al Aswany considers these same issues that torment modern Egyptian society. He has a great deal to say about one of the most pressing questions on everybody’s mind ; who will be the next president of Egypt, and how will he be elected? He discusses the moral ambiguity of appointed politicians, the suitability of democratic reforms in a Muslim society, and the inherent contradiction in the actions of the religiously observant policeman who tortures or the man who harasses women. Critical, controversial, and straightforward, Al Aswany ask his government to serve the people , and the people to demand what they deserve.

Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. A dentist by profession, Al Aswany is the author of the bestselling novel The Yacoubian Building (AUC Press, 2005), Chicago (AUC Press, 2007), and the novella and short story collection Friendly Fire (AUC Press 2009). These three titles have been translated into French : L’immeuble Yacoubian, Chicago, J’aurais voulu être égyptien (Actes Sud). Al Aswany’s English and French novels are available at OUM EL DOUNIA.

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