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Days in the Diaspora: A Modern Egyptian Novelby Kamal Ruhayyim
Synopses & Reviews
"How could a good Muslim boy like you be born into a Jewish family!" For Galal, forced to leave Egypt in the 1960s Jewish exodus with his family, the Diaspora has none of the beauty of a rich tapestry of history; it is a day-to-day struggle to fit into his new life in Paris, reconcile the conflicting demands of family and friends, and come to terms with who he is.
The quest for belonging and identity is at the heart of this sensitive and tender narrative. Earthy, rambunctious supporting characters burst from the page, spontaneous, emotional, yet, for all their faï¿½ade of confidence, no less adrift than Galal himself. Ruhayyim's Paris of the 1960s is startlingly relevant: then, as now, religion offers an illusory source of community and identity for migrants to the west, not fitting in, yet cut off from their roots. Deeply personal, this unusual, uplifting coming-of-age novel takes us into the heart of an ordinary young man in the grip of an unforgiving historical moment.
About the Author
Kamal Ruhayyim, born in Egypt in 1947, has a PhD in law from Cairo University. He is the author of a collection of short stories and two novels, as well as several books on law. Through his career in the Egyptian police force and Interpol he has lived in Cairo and Paris.
Sarah Enany, with a Ph.D. in drama, is a lecturer in the English Department of Cairo University. Her translation credits include works by Yusuf Idris, Mohamed Salmawy and Jerzy Grotowski.
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