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Over the past few months I have delivered lectures, presentations and interviews on the Egyptian Revolution. I have had overflowing houses everywhere, been stopped by old ladies in the street and had my hand shaken by numerous taxi drivers and shopkeepers. And all because I'm Egyptian and the glitter of Tahrir is upon me.
They wanted me to talk to them, to tell them stories about it, to tell them how, on the 28th of January when we took the Square and The People torched the headquarters of the hated ruling National Democratic Party, The (same) People formed a human chain to protect the Antiquities Museum and demanded an official handover to the military; to tell them how, on Wednesday, February 2nd, as The People defended themselves against the invading thug militias and fought pitched battles at the entrance to the Square in the shadow of the Antiquities Museum, The (same) People at the centre of the square debated political structures and laughed at stand-up comics and distributed sandwiches and water; to tell them of the chants and the poetry and the songs, of how we danced and waved at the F16s that our President flew over us. People everywhere want to make this Revolution their own, and we in Egypt want to share it.
Ahdaf Soueif - novelist, commentator, activist - navigates her history of Cairo and her journey through the Revolution that's redrawing its future. Through a map of stories drawn from private history and public record Soueif charts a story of the Revolution that is both intimately hers and publicly Egyptian.
Ahdaf Soueif was born and brought up in Cairo. When the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 erupted on January 25th, she, along with thousands of others, called Tahrir Square home for eighteen days. She reported for the world's media and did - like everyone else - whatever she could.
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Captures the intoxicating romance of the weeks when anything seemed possible. Soueif writes with verve and passion, offering the authentic voice of the liberal Egyptian who risked everything because she wanted her country to have freedom and democracy (Daily Telegraph)
Conveys what it felt like to be in Tahrir Square, to face the police on the Nile bridges, to stumble into makeshift hospitals filled with bloodied youths. [Ahdaf Soueif] has an eye for ephemera at the edge of a vast stage. The reader gets a visceral sense of the dislocation the revolutionaries felt in their own city ... In years to come it will be a reminder to liberals - now once again in the opposition following the recent election victory of Egypt's Islamists - of their most glorious hour. It should serve as a heartening reminder of what they are capable of achieving when united and courageous (The Economist)
Bursts of lyricism, poetry and love illuminate the factual account and political commentary, and it works beautifully ... The immediacy is palpable. Read this book (Louisa Young Independent)
There are many records of the Egyptian revolution, but Cairo takes us on a more intimate journey; one that goes far beyond the 18 days of Tahrir Square ... [Ahdaf Soueif] speaks of her own story but also speaks for thousands, perhaps even millions of other Cairenes ... Compelling (Guardian)
'Soueif is a political analyst and commentator of the best kind' (London Review of Books)
The story of the revolution and a personal journey into the city of Ahdaf Soueif's childhood
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