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Over the past few months I have delivered lectures, presentations and interviews on the Egyptian Revolution. I have had overflowing houses everywhere, been stopped by old ladies in the street and had my hand shaken by numerous taxi drivers and shopkeepers. And all because I'm Egyptian and the glitter of Tahrir is upon me.
They wanted me to talk to them, to tell them stories about it, to tell them how, on the 28th of January when we took the Square and The People torched the headquarters of the hated ruling National Democratic Party, The (same) People formed a human chain to protect the Antiquities Museum and demanded an official handover to the military; to tell them how, on Wednesday, February 2nd, as The People defended themselves against the invading thug militias and fought pitched battles at the entrance to the Square in the shadow of the Antiquities Museum, The (same) People at the centre of the square debated political structures and laughed at stand-up comics and distributed sandwiches and water; to tell them of the chants and the poetry and the songs, of how we danced and waved at the F16s that our President flew over us. People everywhere want to make this Revolution their own, and we in Egypt want to share it.
Ahdaf Soueif - novelist, commentator, activist - navigates her history of Cairo and her journey through the Revolution that's redrawing its future. Through a map of stories drawn from private history and public record Soueif charts a story of the Revolution that is both intimately hers and publicly Egyptian.
Ahdaf Soueif was born and brought up in Cairo. When the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 erupted on January 25th, she, along with thousands of others, called Tahrir Square home for eighteen days. She reported for the world's media and did - like everyone else - whatever she could.
About The Author
Ahdaf Soueif was born in Egypt in 1950, but between the ages of four and eight she lived in England while her mother studied for her PhD at London University. She learned to read from Little Grey Rabbit and English comics. She has taught at Cairo University and the University of King Seoud.
Ahdaf returned to England in 1973 to study for a doctorate in linguistics at Lancaster University. She has written for numerous newspapers and magazines, including the Sunday Telegraph, the TLS and the Washington Post. Her first book Aisha was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. Her most recent novel is The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999.
Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, Ahdaf Soueif's collected essays and journalism were published in November 2004.
Ahdaf Soueif lives in England and Egypt.
In her book, Cairo, published by Bloomsbury in January 2012, Ahdaf Soueif relives the dramatic series of events and shares its intimate stories from her youth in Cairo, unlocking the physical, historical and emotional background of her great city.