Read your way through Cairo

In the same vein Albert CosseriColors of shame“. The very fast-reading book follows the well-mannered pickpocket and serves as a kind of guide to the dynamics of the ancient city markets – swindle, haggling, haggling for a deal. As soon as you step on Khan el-Khalili Bazaaror even on pyramid plateau in Giza, where you will be inundated with offers of camel, horse and guide rides, you may appreciate reading this book.

Cairo is largely characterized by its architecture layers Fatimids, Mamluks, Khedivals. But it also has a rich history of modern architecture, from turn-of-the-century revivals to concrete expressionism and modernist design. This includes the houses of iconic cultural figures. Singer Um Kulthum’s house has been demolished, but similar houses by the same architect, Ali Labib Gabr, still stand nearby, including what was once my grandmother’s house just a few blocks away. This is not a novel, but a work by Mohamed Elshahed.Cairo since 1900: A Guide to Architectureoffers a brilliant guide to this modern age and is the perfect hiking companion, not only about the buildings and their historical significance, but also about that era.

In the fiction of Vagikh GhaliBear in snooker club It is a cult classic originally written in English that depicts post-colonial Cairo through the eyes of a nationalist, English-speaking aristocrat fighting regime change and new socialist politics under President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Although it was written in 1964, it tells the story of Egypt even now.

At the other end of the class and experiential spectrum of the same political regime is Sonalla Ibrahim’s experimental novel. This smell“. Published in 1968, it tells the story of a recently released prisoner and his indisposition as he struggles and fails to adjust to everyday life outside. There are many days in this fast-paced city that feel like real romance to me.

Collection of essays by AndrĂ© Acimanfake documentsfor a trip to Alexandria. Born and raised there, Aciman returns decades after his family went into exile and tries to rebuild the city as it was in his memory. He finds that little is left of him, but his search captures in vivid detail the city he is best remembered for. His thoughtful book moves through time and geography, from Egypt to Europe, but even there it still tells about Asimane’s Alexandria. To hold on to that feeling of sight and loss, you should read Constantine P. Cavafy.Poetry collection“. Two writers born in the ancient port city make up an unofficial Alexandrian collection.

  • Novels by Naguib Mahfouz

  • “In the eyes of the sun” as well as “Map of Love”. Ahdaf Suef

  • “Slip”, Mohamed Khair

  • Cairo: The City of Sand. Maria Goliath

  • “Colors of Shame” Albert Cosseri

  • “Cairo Since 1900: A Guide to Architecture”. Mohamed Elshahed

  • “Beer at the Snooker Club” Wagih Ghali

  • “That Smell” Sonalla Ibrahim

  • “Fake papers” AndrĂ© Aciman

  • “Collection of Poems” Constantine P. Cavafy