Al Aswany: Drilling for The Truth


DIVISIVE: Al Aswany has been lionized and denounced

Despite its seemingly incongruous title, Alaa Al Aswany's novel Chicago is filled with characters who reflect the conflicting political and social currents churning through Egypt today. There is Nagi, an idealistic medical student who is passionate for democratic change — and for his blonde American girlfriend. In league with him is Dr. Muhammad Salah, a university professor questioning the meaning of his life and nostalgic for a simpler past. Almost another world away is Shaymaa, a sweet, veiled young woman from the Nile Delta who finds herself struggling to cope with modern life in the big city.


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