Hawamesh Al-Maqrizi: Hekayat Min Misr (Margins of Al-Maqrizi: Stories from Egypt), by: Salah Eissa, (Cairo: Al-Karma Publishing House), 2019, pp328
This is the long awaited reprint of the late author Salah Eissa’s non-fiction book, first published in 1983 by the Ministry of Culture-affiliated Al-Qahira. The book includes 180 stories from the history of Egypt starting in the time of the Mamelukes and ending with the 1919 Revolution. Initially conceived as a kind of commentary on the great 14th/15th-century historian Al-Maqrizi, these stories started our as articles in Al-Goumhouriya newspaper, which proved so oppositional in tone they led to the resignation of the editor in chief there. Many of them shed light on incidents and anecdotes that few people know about through a very extended historical period, or aspects of well-known situations — the mass protests in support of Saad Zaghloul’s Wafd Party that culminated in the 1919 Revolution, for example — that allow the reader to reassess them.
Salah Eissa (1939-2017), a long-time journalist and writer, graduated from the Higher Institute of Social Work in 1961. His books include The Orabi Revolution: Stories from Egypt, The Egyptian Bourgeoisie and the Style of Negotiation, The Trial of Fouad Serageddin: A Constitution in the Dustbin, The Disturbing-the-Peace Poet: Court Files of the Poet Ahmed Fouad Negm, Raya and Sekina’s Men, Wondrous Personalities and Intellectuals and the Military.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 4 July, 2019 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly under the headline: ...