'Cairo is Here' by: Ibrahim Abdel-Meguied
Cairo is Here (Hona Al-Qahira) by Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid; Cairo: Al-Dar Al-Masriyah Al-Lubnaniya, 2014. 504pp.
Ibrahim Abdel-Meguid's latest novel takes us back to Cairo in the 1970s, an era that he describes as "the age of big transformations" for the city.
Abdel-Meguid, author of No One Sleeps in Alexandria, sees the 1970s as the decade which overthrew the "achievements" of the July 1952 revolution and the democratic success of the liberal era during the 1940s.
It was in this time, Abdel-Meguid argues, that the Egyptian government, under then president Anwar El-Sadat, began to support Islamic and religious groups and push them into the front rows of the country's political scene.
The novel moves through many of Cairo’s famous neighbourhoods – downtown, Old Cairo, Roxy Square in Heliopolis and Hadayek El-Kobba – and lets us see how the city and its suburbs became filled with noise and poorly planned buildings.
Abdel-Meguid is a renowned Egyptian novelist and winner of various awards, including the Mahfouz Medal for Literature from the American University in Cairo Press (AUC).