The novelist Alaa Al Aswany places his emigré characters in post-9/11 Chicago. chicago has 11 ratings and 2 reviews. Meron said: I loved this book! First of all it was amazing reading about the historical context of post 9/11 Americ. A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany.

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Alaa Al Aswany: Chicago – Cairo Guide to Cairo, Egypt

The spectre of an embarrassing political protest, for example, excites the “arrogant and suspicious” Safwat Shakir, a sleazy government agent with a military background and one of the least likeable actors in Al Aswany’s motley troupe. As his new wife soon discovers, he has miserly and selfish tendencies. Menna marked it as to-read Jul 26, An academic department, however, is a site that brings together individuals from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds.

Al Aswany in I just don’t like the chciago voice Particularly appealing about the novel is the forthrightness with which Aswany addresses the issue of Egypt’s contemporary political corruption and decay; the name of the leader that’s at the rotting head of this administration, Hosni Mubarak, is never mentioned, but he is often and unmistakably referred to, and one of the central occurrences in the book is a state visit that takes him to Chicago.

Egypt’s Years of Chicsgo.

See 1 question about chicago…. Against a blistering backdrop of sex, money, politics, and passion, students and teachers alike struggle with crises of identity, freedom, and personal integrity. An impending visit by the president of Egypt produces all sorts of plot possibilities, setting off a good deal of subterfuge.

Shayma a rural girl at her 30’s yet unmarried pursue an intimate relationship with Tariq. The issues covered in the personal problems of the character include everything from the treatment of the Coptic minority in Egypt which forced one character to abandon the career he originally had hoped to pursue and the expectations of female virtue outside of marriage to the long reach of the Egyptian secret police.


The University of Illinois in Chicago is the focal point in this novel, the glue that cicago the storylines together. It’s an effective alaq technique, and along with the storylines he develops helps get over the relatively crude writing.

Unfortunately, too, the sex descriptions are generally of the very cringe-inducing sort: Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in Thanks for telling us about the problem.

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Between two worlds

University of Illinois professors on decides which Egyptians to admit into the histology phd department however bicker as there are two Egyptian professors on the predominantly white board. The cast of characters is a large one, and Chicago weaves together their various stories – too many of them, perhaps. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

But Chicago is written for an Egyptian audience first, and any inconsistencies that consequently arise do not detract from its author’s empathy for even his most unpleasant characters. Alaa Al Aswany is among the best writers in the Middle East today, a suitable heir to the mantle worn by Naguib Mahfouz, his great predecessor, whose influence is felt on every page.

In The Yacoubian Buildingthat place is an apartment complex in Cairo, a microcosm of post Egypt. In the mix of characters living in the building one found, for instance, an extravagant playboy, a gay intellectual, and a devout Islamic fundamentalist. Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany.

Review: Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany | Books | The Guardian

Sex is by far the biggest motive that drives the characters to make their life-changing decisions and probably to justify them later on. But if he were destined, just once, to cross to the other side and to walk among them, he would see one of them writing akaa to his wife, another looking at his children’s photos, and a third shaving and humming a tune.


Eman Taymoor present [1]. In fact, it is the government toady and informant, Ahmad Danana, the head of the Egyptian Student Union in America, who is by far the most interesting character — in no small part because he is mainly occupied with various machinations, instead of his studies, and Aswany isn’t particularly good on academic life but has fun ideas as far machinations go.

The complete review ‘s Review:.

Salah left his girlfriend Zeinab to immigrate to America in the 70’s however his marriage with his American wife faces problems. Nagi Abd al-Samad, an Egyptian student at Illinois, engages in both histology and poetry. Al-Aswany was in Tahrir Square each of the 18 days before Mubarak fell from power. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

The Definitive Guide to Living in the Capital , Cairo , Egypt

His second novel, The Yacoubian Buildingan ironic depiction of modern Egyptian society, has been widely read in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. Working here just means showing up. And it’s even worse than that: Views Read Edit View history.