Midaq Alley by Naguib Mahfouz

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Take a journey to Egypt in the 1940s, where Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz’s novel, Midaq Alley, spotlights a hustling, teeming back alley of Cairo.

Meet Zaita the maimer-for-a-fee; Kirsha the hedonistic cafe owner; Abbas the barber who mistakes greed for love; Hamida who sells her soul to escape the alley; and an array of waiters and widows, politicians, pimps, and poets.

This portrait of one small street serves as a microcosm of the quest for freedom and modernity in a country still scarred by the brutalities of colonialism.