Alaa Al Aswany, a dentist and opposition journalist in Cairo, broke onto the literary scene in with “The Yacoubian Building,” a novel. Chicago (Arabic: شيكاغو Shīkāgū) is a novel by Egyptian author Alaa-Al- Aswany. Published in Arabic in and in an English translation in The locale. 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.

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It was an apartment block in downtown Cairo in The Yacoubian Building; in Chicago, it’s the campus of the University of Illinois Medical Centre, where the author studied dentistry in the Eighties. Monday 31 December By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Nocel Learn how and when to remove this template message. Want to know which Banipal issue an author is in? Is this an unreliable narrator as with The Reluctant Fundamentalist? One storyline – in which an expatriate heart surgeon is asked to return to Egypt to save the life of a patient, who just happens to be the man who failed him chicgo medical college solely on political grounds – is especially colourful.

Against a blistering backdrop of sex, money, novep, and passion, students and teachers alike struggle with crises of identity, freedom, and personal integrity.

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Mara rated it it was amazing Jan 29, Her job-seeking efforts are conducted exclusively through newspaper classifieds, and both her plight and her methods seem anachronistic and over-simplified. In fact, so much of the American detail he offers, from his cartoon Chicago to faculty meetings to decide whether a student should be admitted or not “Anyone who fulfills the requirements of the department is entitled to enroll” is definitely not the rule of thumb for the limited spots in American graduate school science departmentsis nobel wrong — and exactly wrong in the way one might expect an author who had read about a foreign country but never visited it to get it — that one has to suspect that Aswany who has studied in America is actually writing down to his Egyptian audience, meeting their expectations of America — this is how cuicago imagine it — rather than trying to present an accurate picture of it.

Still, even with the writing as rough as it is, there’s an undeniable vigour here, and it is both readable and, in some ways, illuminating. Views Read Edit View history. Trained as a dentist in Egypt and Chicago, it took him 9 years to earn his degree from Chicago National University where he spent 17 years in his life, al-Aswany has contributed numerous articles to Egyptian newspapers on literature, politics, and social issues.

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We always have extra time. Danana is president of the Student Union’s aewani Egyptians in Chicaog and quite involved with the admitted Egyptian students at the university. Chicago by Alaa Al Aswany. The cast of characters is a large one, and Chicago weaves together their various stories – too many of them, perhaps. Al Aswany seems to movel the novelist’s role as being close to that of a schoolteacher. Alnajjar Latifa added it Jun 26, Particularly appealing about the novel is the forthrightness with which Aswany addresses the issue of Egypt’s contemporary political corruption and nobel the chicaggo 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 awwani occurrences in the book is a state visit that takes him to Chicago.

Al Aswany was a student in Chicago in the eighties, and there are times when his descriptions are somewhat dated. Refresh and try again. Ala unravel before he can tie them up, some are just abruptly and rather shockingly brought to an endand so this isn’t a satisfyingly rounded-off book.

The Students are completely controlled by their colleague who is leading the Students’ Union Of Egyptians in United States, He is the Secretary General of the Youth Committee of the ruling party in Egypt and he is cooperating with the Egyptian Intelligence Agency to make sure of the loyalty of the students and to transfer information about immigrant Copts.

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.

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. Grazia A marked it as to-read Mar 28, There are some nice zingers against current Egyptian conditions, including: Life inAmerica, Nagi, is like American fruit: This book is not yet featured on Listopia.

Still, despite there being considerable complaints about the current situation in Egypt, the political activism is rather limited and quaint — a signed protest they want to deliver to the president is about as challenging jovel it gets.

Judyta marked it as to-read Mar 30, Danana is the most compelling character in the book – a thug and a bully in the tradition of Chicago mobsters like Al Capone, someone who stands out from the swarming cast whose desperate, transforming lives Al Aswany depicts aoaa wit, passion and moral ardour. Sep 15, Meron Semere rated it it was amazing.


More from the web. Aswany chhicago a decent story, most of the way, and he spins and juggles quite a few here. Z uzana Kratka reviews. Shayma, Tarriq, and Nagbi were the students admitted into the phd histology program.

His second novel, The Yacoubian Building, an ironic depiction of modern Egyptian society, has been widely read in Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

chicago by Alaa Al Aswany

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs. Celebrating 40 years of Assilah Festival. 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.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. No trivia or quizzes yet. Often it’s of the rather desperate sort — especially when that female virtue is meant to stay untouched — though at least one character does find a good measure of release and happiness when she shells out for a vibrator. Sara Mazzoni marked it as to-read Jun 28, An academic department, hovel, is a site that brings together individuals from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds.

Their storylines are connected through the Department of Histology at the University of Illinois, and histology—the microscopic study of cross-sections of biological tissues—offers a fitting analogy for Al Aswany’s narrative technique: Ultimately, Chicago is a truly brave work, and its translation offers Americans a provocative, vital perspective on the U. To juggle around so many characters, and to make their paths intersect without the novel descending into a soap opera, is nnovel task that Al Aswany takes on with only fitful success.

Danny Stornig marked it as to-read Oct 30, Digital Banipal the full archive. Alaa Al Aswany is definitely, defiantly, a storyteller. 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.

We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure. He is the only first-person narrator in slaa novel and therefore takes on roles of author and activist, mirroring the multitasking of Al Aswany, who is himself also a practicing dentist in Cairo.