Al-Ahram Weekly   Al-Ahram Weekly
9 - 15 December 1999
Issue No. 459
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875 Issues navigation Current Issue Previous Issue Back Issues

Books Monthly supplement Antara

In search of an attribution
WhatOs in a painting? The potential for disaster, for one thing. Nigel Ryan reviews Headlong, a tale of vanity and ambition saved only by a thoroughly modern moral equivocation

Sayyid Qutb: Othe right to revoltO
Sayyid Qutb wa Thawrat Yulyou (Sayyid Qutb and the July Revolution), Helmi el-Namnam, Cairo: Meret for Publication and Information, 1999. pp150

Interpretation and beyond
Fate of A Prisoner and Other Stories, Denys Johnson-Davies, London: Quartet Books, 1999. pp222

Questioning the body, questioning the mind
Nawal al-Saadawi, TaOam Al-Solta wal Jins(The Twins of Power and Sex), Dar al-Mustaqbal al-Arabi, Cairo 1999 , pp258

A political scientist among the historians
The Social Origins of Egyptian Expansionism During the Muhammad 'Ali Period, Fred H Lawson, The American University in Cairo Press, 1999 (first published Columbia University Press, 1992). pp215

Ancient Egyptian windfall
* Egypt, Ancient and Modern by Isabella Brega, trans. C.T.M. Milan. The American University in Cairo Press, 1999. pp135
* Egyptian Luxuries: Fragrance, Aromatherapy, and Cosmetics in Pharaonic Times. Lise Manniche with photographs by Werner Forman. The American University in Cairo Press, 1999. pp160
* Ancient Egypt. David P. Silverman ed., The American University in Cairo Press, 1999. pp255

Intersection points
Al Jadid, vol. 5, no. 28, 1999, Los Angeles, Al Jadid

Sharing the self
Dikka Khashabiya Tasa Ithnayn Bilkad (A wooden bench barely wide enough for two), Shehata el-Iryan, Cairo: Aswat Adabiya (Literary Voices) General Organisation for Cultural Palaces, 1999. pp206
To the editor

At a glance
By Mahmoud El-Wardani

* Al-Hilal, monthly magazine, issue no. 12, December 1999, Cairo: Al-Hilal Publishing House
* Al-Arabi, monthly magazine, issue no. 493, December 1999, Kuwait: Ministry of Information
* Al-Kotob: Wughat Nazar (Books: Viewpoints), monthly magazine, issue no. 11, December 1999, Cairo: The Egyptian Company for Arab and International Publication
* Mirrors, Naguib Mahfouz, translated by Roger Allen, illustrated by Seif Wanli, Cairo: AUC Press, 1999. pp186
* Ibdaa (Creativity), monthly magazine, issue no. 10, November 1999, Cairo: GEBO
* Sotour (Lines), monthly magazine, issue no. 36, November 1999, Cairo: Sotour Publications
* Al-Thaqafa Al-Alamia (OWorld CultureO), Kuwait: The National Council for Culture and Arts
* Adab wa Naqd (Literature and Criticism), monthly literary magazine, issue no. 171, November 1999, Cairo: Progressive National Unionist Party publications
* Qadaya Fikriya (Intellectual Issues), occasional book, issues no. 19 and 20, October 1999
* Al-OOsour Al-Jadida (New Eras), monthly magazine, issue no. 2, 1999, Cairo: Sinai Publishing House
* Nizwa, quarterly magazine, issue no. 20, October 1999, Oman: Omani Corporation for Press, Publishing and Advertising

To see other book supplements go to the ARCHIVES index. 


Illustrations courtesy of International Commitee of the Red Cross
"Folk drawings and tales", Cairo, 1996

To the editor

Worthwhile reading

Sir-- I wonder if you would be kind enough to allow me to point out to your readers same of the more worthwhile books concerning the region which are now available locally.

First of all there is The Egyptian Theatre in the 19th Century (1799-1882) by P.C. Sadgrove, Ithaca Press (LE210), a very interesting book which outlines the three phases of theatre during that period: French, Abou Nadara and Syrian. Bitter Harvest (a reprint) by Sami Hadawi, Olive Branch Press, New York (LE60), an excellent book which exposes all Israel's distortions and false claims -- a book no Egyptian editorial writer can afford to be without. Rugs and Carpets by Andrew Middleton, Beazley (LE120) is perhaps the most useful book on the subject with every illustration in colour. The Invention of Ancient Israel by Keith Whitelham, Routledge (LE90) which tells us how the world Zionist propaganda machinery has rewritten ancient history so as to present Israel as a civilised nation. Family Medical Companion by Geddes and Grossel (LE27) is a useful book to have round the house and has the best description of herpes I have yet read. Alan Moorehead's African Trilogy, Cassel (LE150) is a classic piece of war writing by a great journalist.

And finally, Inside the Seraglio by John Freely, Viking (LE 108) which tells all about the devious and wicked lives of the Ottoman Sultans and what they did to each other and those around them!

Mamdouh El-Dakhakhni,

Interest and confusion

Sir-- I have been following the progress of your new monthly supplement on Books with both increased interest and confusion at the same time.

With interest, because I think it was about time that the Weekly, which I consider one of the best publications in Egypt (in English or Arabic), branched out and started including additional sections with the regular paper (a few more that immediately come to mind are Travel, Entertainment and Style).

My confusion, however, stems from what I see as the meandering nature of the Books supplement content. Does it mean to cover any books published in any language about Egypt and the Middle East? That, I'm afraid, would make it too much of a mish-mash. Perhaps it would be helpful to divide it into sections (English, Arabic, French) so that readers aren't confused.

For instance: If I was a foreigner who could not read Arabic, I would probably only glance briefly at the Arabic section, knowing that even if a book review made the work sound interesting, I would probably never be able to read it.

I hope you see where I am coming from, and I wish you the best of luck in all your endeavors.

Tarek Abdallah,
Hadayek Al-Qubba,

The primary purpose of the Books supplement is to provide a window on literary and intellectual endeavour in Egypt and the Arab World. Even for a non-Arabic speaker, it is believed that coverage of the Arab intellectual scene will provide an indispensable picture of what goes on, at the social, political, and cultural levels, in this part of the world.

However we cannot afford to ignore significant events in the Western publishing world that pertain directly to the Arab World. Of these too, we believe, we can offer a dstinctly Arab perspective. It should be noted that nonetheless we have not restricted ourselves to Arab books or books pertaining to the Arab World, but have attempted to reach out to important books dealing with the arts, for the benefit of our Arab readers who are interested in European literature but do not live in the West. Our review of Vikram Seth's An Equal Music (September issue) and -- in this issue -- of Michael Frayn's higly acclaimed Headlong, which takes the history of art as a theme, are but two examples.



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