“Where are you from?” “Jamaica … My father is Egyptian.” “And what nationality does that make you?” “Parasitologist.” “I say chaps! This man says his nationality is parasitologist!” If you’re born with three mother-countries, as Yasseen was, you look for the Highest Common Factor that unites them, and since both his parents were doctors – … More ‘Buy a couple of pistols – one for Egypt and one for Britain – and shoot myself through each ear in the Bull Ring?’
One day in early 1977 I went to the cinema in Cairo, to see the one and only screening of Costas Gavras’s magnificent film, “Z”. It had been summarily banned by the President, Anwar Sadat, who must have seen uncomfortable parallels between the story of a Greek politician set up and murdered by hired thugs, … More Noireddin, the Bent Copper and Partial Redemption
At the beginning of 1973 I spent a few months in Cairo. War with Israel was in the offing, and preparations for it were under way. At the most mundane level, blast walls were built in front of the entrances to blocks of flats, and windows taped; at the Egyptian Museum Tutankhamun’s mask and regalia were … More Ash-sha’ab yurid … what, exactly?
The last few days have been dominated by news from Cairo. The beard-trimmers I saw on sale everywhere in the city two weeks ago have been brought out with a vengeance, and the army is back in the saddle. I am very struck by the stark contrast of views between the western press, long on … More Inventing a Country