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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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, this movie? There’s moral decay throughout The Yacoubian Buildingbut Al Aswany does not so much condemn immorality per se, but rather the double standards, especially where money and influence are involved.

It’s not just the state that is a failure, however: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Our Lord created the Egyptians to accept government authority. Al Aswany, a dentist by profession and a regular contributor to Egyptian newspapers and magazines, derisively portrays the contradiction between many of the protagonists’ thoughts, actions and utterances and their piousness. The Yacoubian Building is fast-moving and action-packed, with drama in every scene and shifts between the different strands used to provide tension.

The Yacoubian Building

This page was last edited on 27 Juneat Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. On the roof of the ten-story building are fifty small rooms one for each apartmentno more than two meters by two meters in area, which were originally used as storage areas and not as living quarters for human beings, but after wealthy residents began moving from downtown Cairo to suburbs such as Medinet Nasr and Mohandessin in the s, the rooms were gradually taken over by overwhelmingly poor migrants from the Egyptian countryside, arriving in Cairo in the hopes of finding employment.

November External links: Al Aswany is more interested in showing a broader picture of Egyptian life, a sort of realistic panorama — but the conditions, of course, allow him to point out the many flaws of contemporary Egypt in doing so. El Fouli and Azzam are not the only ones trading money and favors.


But Al Aswany goes to great length to also show how these people are all victims of their merciless society: We acknowledge and remind and warn you that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

The Yacoubian Building – Canada. Following that lead, The Yacoubian Building is filled with sexual harassment, promiscuity, homosexuality, and even pedophilia, all described in graphic detail.

The characters are a sort of compendium.

Review: The Yacoubian Building by Alaa al Aswany | Books | The Guardian

The Yacoubian Building Arabic: Der Jakubian-Bau – Deutschland. Mahfouz set his novel in a poor working-class district, seeking to portray the changes wrought by the second world war, and the British Eighth Army, to sexual morals and long-lived social traditions.

But now that this highly popular and controversial book is being made into a big-budget Egyptian film, one can’t help but wonder if the author’s cinematic-like approach was not a calculated decision all along.

Notionally set during the Gulf War but about contemporary Egypt, Alaa Al Aswany’s novel The Yacoubian Building follows the lives of several of the building’s inhabitants. The author, a dentist by profession, had his first office aala the Yacoubian Building in Cairo.

In fact, The Yacoubian Building is arguably oversexed, too many of the characters too simplistically driven by lust, such as Hatim: The locale of the aswaby is downtown Cairowith the titular apartment building which actually exists 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.

For other uses, see Yacoubian Building disambiguation. The rose opened to the touch of his fingers and he watered it more than once till it was quenched. Cairo’s Yacoubian building is past its prime: Aswanh truth is that in Mubarak’s Egypt, just as in Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad or even the shah’s Tehran, sex is one thing but the boss is quite another, and the difference is a matter of life and death.

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.

Yet Aswany is so good-natured that even his terrorist is allowed to enjoy, before his martyrdom, a paradisial marriage portrayed in the shimmering palette of gihadi bad taste. In this scathing critique of contemporary Egypt, one is hard put to find a redeemable character. Al Aswany’s Egypt is a cruel place, one that forces many of its citizens into compromising situations.


For the eponymous film, see The Yacoubian Building film. The complete review ‘s Review:. Khaled Diab, in an article entitled Cultural rainbowsexplores buillding aspect of the novel, and how this can help change popular attitudes to homosexuality in the Arab world.

For Aswany, political probity and sexual virtue in Egypt have been obliterated by the British, the monarchy, the Nasserists, the clergy and now the nouveaux riches.

A street in the sky

Retrieved from ” https: These strands are only loosely connected, but they are all dominated by violence. It says so in the history books.

Like what you read? There’s the sex-obsessed Zaki Bey, and his servant Abaskharon — and Abaskharon’s brother Malak, who gets a toehold on the Yacoubian roof and underhandedly builxing to take hold of other bits and pieces, with designs for even more. If the characters, good and bad, educated or not, have a quality in common, it is a sort of big-city sophistication. 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.

The Yacoubian Building of the title is a microcosm of much of Cairo, and in telling the stories of various of its denizens Alaa Al Aswany offers a colourful picture of contemporary Egypt. Along the way, he is beaten and humiliated by the police, his ideals and any possible last belief in the integrity of the Egyptian state and system shaken beyond repair — though even in the final confrontation it is the personal affront that drives him to action and that also leads him to fail in the larger objectives, as Al Aswany offers a man driven to militancy for personal reasons, not Islamic ideals.

He installs his young conscript lover Abduh in one of the rooms on the roof for convenience, and for a short while this gives him stability in his love life.