Shahaama: Five Egyptian Men Tell Their Stories

In 1982 Nayra Atiya wrote an award-winning oral history, Khul-Khaal: Five Egyptian Women Tell Their Story. This is the follow-up, based on interviews she recorded with Egyptian men in the same period and titled Shahaama after an Arabic word for doing the honorable thing. As Atiya tells it, personal circumstances and losing the original recordings for several years held the book back until now. The men, interviewed in their middle age, came of age under Gamal Abdel Nasser, the grandparents of the youth of Tahrir Square. There is optimism in their stories that one doesn’t hear much today. But this is a limited view: With the exception of a fisherman, the men come from Egypt’s then middle class. They are of different religions, a calculated decision on the part of the author, although religion as a source of political tension is not addressed. Nonetheless, these stories are compelling slices of life, depicting personal lives of 20th-century Egypt, particularly the early 20th century when the men talk of their childhoods.

Picturing Algeria
Picturing Algeria
Previous
Shahaama: Five Egyptian Men Tell Their Stories
RSS Feed AramcoWorld MagazineAtom 1.0

Stay up to date

Subscribe to our newsletter to receive the latest features, events, reviews, teaching aids and digital-only content.