Back to banishment
Al-Awda Ilal-Manfa (Back to Banishment) is a fictional account of one of the most difficult periods of Egyptian contemporary history by Abul-Maati Abul-Naga. The author focuses on the period following the Egypt’s defeat in the 1967 war, comparing it with the stage that predated the so-called Orabi Revolt led by the prominent army officer Ahmed Orabi who in 1879 demonstrated against Khedive Tawfiq and the British occupation. The similarity between the two incidents can be seen in the protest of the people against the ruling authority and occupation, believing that a revolution will put an end to corruption and chaos. Both situations turned into a nightmare that was very difficult to analyse or interpret. The novel is published by the General Egyptian Book Organisation.
Pain and agony
Azza Adli writes about the pressures and critical situations people sometimes face, and which can affect their moods and psychological states, in a collection of short stories under the title of La Kha’in (No Traitor). Adli presents some real-life experiences whereby adopting certain beliefs have let to grief and pain.
Ancient Egyptian symbol
The controversial ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten is the central character of a new play written by Bakri Abdel-Hamid and published by the General Organisation of Cultural Palaces.
Until the fifth year of his reign Akhenaten was known as Amenhotep IV. A member of the Eighteenth Dynasty, husband of Nefertiti and possibly the father of Tutankhamun, he ruled for 17 years and died in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. He is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing a form of worship centered on the Aten. Although the new religion is sometimes described as monotheistic, a better description would be henotheistic since he ranked the Aten above other gods but did not deny their existence.
The modern interest in Akhenaten and Nefertiti stems partly from the connection with Tutankhamun, partly from the unique style and high quality of the pictorial arts the family patronised, and partly from the ongoing interest in the religion Akhenaten attempted to establish.
Although the character of this remarkable pharaoh has already been presented in many books, plays and series, Hamid has his own unique perspective which is the theme of his new play.
Reminding the writer
Arab writers and poets are supposed to spend some time studying the Arabic language, literature and grammatical rules, which are after all the basic tools of writing and the elements that form a story, book, or poem. Under the title of Tathkirat al-Kateb (A Reminder for the Writer), Asaad Khalil Dagher analyses, comments and gives some recommendations on the most common mistakes made by writers and poets. The book is issued and published by Dar al-Bustani.
Democracy and racism
Most Arabs believe that the kind of democracy Israel promotes is nothing but deception. Israel’s policies of terrorism, racism and pretence at democracy are how Hassan Abdel-Rabo al-Masri views the Israeli line. In his new book Israel…Demokratiyat al-Irhab Wal-Unsuriya (Israel…Democracy of Terrorism and Racism) published by al-Sharq al-Awsat, Masri expresses his own point of view of Israel’s government and policy.
Between you and me
Mohamed Mustafa uses a mix of fun and irony to present some complex national and international issues in his new book Kalam Baini we Bainak (Words Between You and Me) published by al-Dar House. The introduction is by author Alaa’ al-Aswani, who says the book is interesting and comprehensive. Journalist Yusri Fouda calls the book realistic, accurate, and diplomatic yet also amusing.
“Not knowing women’s rights does not mean they don’t not exist,” says Adel Mohamed Saleh in his book Hoqouq Al-Mar’a Wa Qadaya Moasera (Women Rights and Contemporary Issues) published by Dar Mahmud. Saleh, a former court president, addresses the problems of Egyptian women not only from the social angle but also from a legal one. The author has also worked as a lawyer and currently heads the board of directors of the national association for the improvement of human resources. The book looks at various issues such as custody; divorce; violence against women; sexual harassment; the controversy over hijab and niqab (Islamic veils); and Saleh deals elaborately with gender equality, particularly in oriental communities.
The book is divided into three parts: women’s rights in the family, women rights in society and issues women care about.