Childern of the Allay
Cairo, January 1952. Egypt is at a critical point in its modern history, struggling to throw off the yoke of the seventy-year British occupation and its corrupt royalist allies. Hamza is a committed young radical, his goal to build a secret armed brigade to fight for freedom, independence, and national self-esteem. Fawziya is a woman with a mission too, keen to support the cause. Among the ashes of the city love may grow, but at a time of national struggle what place do personal feelings have beside the greater love for a shackled homeland? In this finely crafted novel, Yusuf Idris, best known as the master of the Arabic short story, brings to life not only some of the most human characters in modern Arabic fiction but the soul of Cairo itself and the soul of a national consciousness focused on liberation. "Like the Russian aristocrats of Chekhov, the provincial bourgeoisie of Flaubert, or the Ibo villagers of Achebe, Idris raises his authentic characters into convincing types within their context: he makes us live their agonies and hopes." Ferial Ghazoul
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apartment Ataba Bab al-Wazir battle Bedeir began Begging your pardon believe British Cairo camp coffee cold committee dark Denys Johnson-Davies Dokki door Egypt Egyptian everything eyes face father Fawziya Fedayeen feel felt fingers fire front gallabiya gandy dancer glasses hand happened Hasan head heard heart Heliopolis hide imagined inside inside my eyes Ismail Abu Duma Ismailia knew laughed light lips Listen live LOVE AND ASHES martial law Master Houda matter mean millieme morning mouth Naguib Mahfouz never night o'clock opened plainclothesman replied Saad Saad Zaghloul Sayyid silence sitting sleep smile soul spoke standing stood stopped strange Street suddenly suitcase talk tarboosh Tawfiq al-Hakim taxi tell there's things thought told tomb took turned Umm Mahmud Uncle Ismail voice waiting walked What's woman words young Yusuf Idris Zakaria