From the Editors
It was night. I hesitated before going to visit my youngest brother at the hospital. They had amputated the second toe on his right foot a couple days ago. Each morning I thought they’re going to call to tell me his foot has healed, and then I would have to go there to take him back home. What happened instead is my oldest sister told me they were going to cut off his leg about ten centimeters from the knee, just like they did to the patient in the bed next to him in the ...Keep Reading »
[The following is an excerpt from Ibrahim Aslan's ground-breaking novel of the 1977 Bread Intifada, The Heron. Those who knew Aslan, who passed away on January 7, cannot help but to think of him every time they encounter the infamous blind and long-winded conman of his novel, Sheikh Hosni. We miss you. ] ---- Sheikh Hosni felt for the edge of the boat, bared his arm, leaned over a bit, and began to play with the water. As he splashed about, he announced, “Sheikh ...Keep Reading »
Egyptian writer Ibrahim Aslan was born in Tanta in 1935. His family soon thereafter moved permanently to the Kit Kat neighborhood of Imbaba, a popular quarter of Cairo, which became the setting for his short stories and novels. Though a contemporary of the Generation of the 60s, Aslan developed his own unique style, mixing colloquial and formal registers of Arabic, foregrounding the telling of stories, and insisting on a light sense of humor, even when his subjects are dark. His characters speak Egyptian and live banal lives filled with frustration and stalled revolutions, and most of all, they laugh. His pathbreaking novel chronicling the 1977 Bread Riots -- Malik al-Hazin (1983) -- was adapted into the film Kit Kat and translated into a number of languages. The English translation, The Heron, was published by AUC Press. The translation of ‘Asafir al-Nile, Nile Sparrows, was also published by AUC Press. His is the author of non-fiction works, memoirs and short story collections, including Buhayrat al-misa' (1971) and Yusuf wa-l-rida' (1986), and Hikayat min Fadlallah Uthman (2003). For many years, Aslan was the Cairo-based culture editor for al-Hayat newspaper. He passed away on January 7, 2012.