Alaa Al Aswany’s empathy and perceptive detail in this novel about the An actual downtown Cairo landmark called the Yacoubian Building is. The Yacoubian Building [Alaa Al Aswany] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Yacoubian Building. : The Yacoubian Building: A Novel (): Alaa Al Aswany: Books.

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Built in for an Armenian millionaire, its fall from grace is for this author just one aspect of Egypt’s general dilapidation. The Egyptians are the easiest people in the world to rule. The book was made into a film of the same name in and into a TV series in Al Aswany writes of its fictional counterpart as having been designed “in the high classical European style, the balconies decorated with Greek faces carved in stone, the columns, steps, and corridors all of natural marble.

The locale of the novel is downtown Cairowith the titular apartment building which actually allaa serving as both a metaphor for contemporary Egypt and a unifying location in which most of the primary characters either live or work and in which much of the novel’s action takes place.

The Yacoubian Building (Alaa Al Aswany) – book review

Hatim, after all, not only arranges work and lodging for his lover but also promises to pay for anything Abduh’s wife or son might need. Their intercourse on the first night was simple and spontaneous, buklding though she had been his wife for years.

Yet Aswany is so good-natured that even his terrorist is allowed to enjoy, before his martyrdom, aala paradisial marriage portrayed in the shimmering palette of gihadi bad taste. The actual namesake building, constructed in the Art Deco style, still stands in downtown Cairo at the address given in the novel: Some peoples are excitable sawany rebellious by nature but the Egyptian keeps his head down his whole life long so he can eat.

Published in Egypt in as Imarat Yaqubyan, the novel has been a bestseller in Arabic.

The Yacoubian Building – Alaa Al Aswany

Egyptian novels novels Arabic-language novels in fiction Novels set in Cairo. Constructed as a series of vignettes about characters whose fates will soon converge, a stylistic device highly popular in today’s Hollywood, Egyptian author Alaa Al Aswany’s Arabic best-seller The Yacoubian Building brings to life a seedy and despicable Cairo where only the corrupted and the corruptible can fare well.

When Hagg Muhammad Azzam, desperate to protect his business interests, seeks a meeting with “the Big Man” at his cement Versailles, he is greeted not by a person but by a disembodied voice through a loudspeaker.

The rooftop community, effectively a slum neighborhood, is symbolic of the urbanization of Egypt and of the burgeoning population growth in its large cities in recent decades, especially buklding the poor and working classes.

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And there is Hatim Rasheed, thf homosexual newspaper editor, whose lover Abduh has a wife and child and is torn between the money being Hatim’s boy-toy means and the guilt of sinning in this way. On the other hand considering that the main gay character is presented as a predator, who gets men drunk while watching straight porn with them in order to seduce them and then ends up being strangled to death by one of his tricks, thhe movie?

The Yacoubian Building follows the lives of several of the residents. Khaled Diab, in an article entitled Cultural rainbowsexplores this aspect of the novel, and how alsa can help change popular attitudes to homosexuality in the Arab world.

It is undoubtedly this groundbreaking literary rendition of Egyptian realism, served with a heavy dose of humor, that has made the book such a hit with the local audience two years runningand that, despite the awkward translation in parts, renders it an entertaining and revelatory read for those intrigued by Egyptian alaz.

It’s not just the state that is a failure, however: Cairo’s Yacoubian building is past its prime: While Mahfouz had a greater success in English and French than in his mother tongue, the Arabic Yacoubian is now in its ninth edition.

The mounting pressure of life down-at- the-heels leads to more than one act of violence and Al Aswany deftly builds up the narrative to the boiling point. Whether in fact, or merely in fiction, old store-rooms on the roof of the building are rented in bullding novel to poor immigrants aawany the villages, so that Aswany manages to have both a middle-class apartment block and a teeming Mahfouzian alley in the air.

The Yacoubian Building – UK. The moment you take power, they submit to you and grovel to you and you can do what you want with them. Little gets done in Al Aswany’s Egypt without wastabribery.

The Yacoubian Building

The Yacoubian Building unfolds in the former European quarter downtown at the time of the Gulf war. The veil of power is intact. The plotting is neat, the episodes are funny and sad, and there are deaths and weddings aplenty.

The Yacoubian Building is fast-moving and action-packed, with drama in every scene and shifts between the different strands used to provide tension. Built in the s, the building was an “architectural gem” that housed “the cream of society”, but it underwent considerable change over the decades that followed.

The Yacoubian Building is not heavy going: Der Jakubian-Bau – Deutschland. The heterosexual romantic interest is supplied by Taha, the bright and pious doorman’s son, and his girlfriend Buhayna. But Al Aswany goes to great length to also show how these people are all victims of their merciless society: Taha doesn’t despair completely at first and enrolls at university, but it’s not surprising that Al Aswany has him marked for a downward spiral that leads him to Islamic radicalism and, ultimately, violence.


The bestselling Arabic novel of andin translation The Yacoubian Building offers outsiders a lop-sided but revealing view of Egyptian society.

A street in the sky

Not surprisingly, it affects her personality and outlook, as she’s overwhelmed by guilt but yacoubiwn there’s nothing she can do. Each vacated apartment was then occupied by a military officer and his family, who were often of a more rural background and lower social caste than the previous residents. It is only recently that Arab film and literature have started to approach the subject of sex with unflinching openness.

Pages to import images buildin Wikidata Articles containing Arabic-language text All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from February He’s done everything to ensure that he’ll get a spot in the Police Academy, with only one final hurdle standing in his way, the formality of the character interview. As his unamiable political fixer Kamal el Fouli pronounces: Like what you read?

Even Islamic militancy, or what the Egyptians call gihad, is just a drug like Black Label whisky or picking up police recruits or dope or groping young women on crowded buses in Tahrir Square. It says so in the history books. These strands are only loosely connected, but they are all dominated by violence. El Fouli and Azzam are not the only buildihg trading money and favors.

L’Immeuble Yacoubian – France. The author, a dentist by profession, had his first office in the Yacoubian Building in Cairo. But instead of ending his book with an explosive bang, one that might leave an indelible mark on the reader, the novelist chooses to keep things light, resorting to a Hollywood-style finale, where everything ties up nicely and happily. The book is set around the first Gulf War, when homosexuality in Egypt is taboo-it is not clear if now, almost fifteen years later, attitudes in this regard have at all changed-and Abduh struggles to overcome his society’s and Islam’s stern disapproval of his bedtime activities with Hatim.

Taha el Shazli, the son of the doorman, has his heart set on becoming a policeman, but though he does brilliantly at school and meets all the requirements, he is rejected because of his background. Zaki Bey el Dessouki is an aging womaniser who looks back fhe nostalgia at the good old days; he shares an apartment with his sister until she throws him out and attempts to have him declared incompetent.

In their stead, a new breed of Cairenes has moved in.