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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In their stead, a new breed of Cairenes has adwany in. The characters are a sort of compendium. Der Jakubian-Bau – Deutschland. 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. The Yacoubian Building – Canada.

The Yacoubian Building – Wikipedia

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. Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review ‘s biased asdany and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers.

Aswany’s is an altogether more worldly Egypt, and one that is in a hurry to get somewhere or other. It is only recently that Arab film and literature have started to approach the subject of sex with unflinching openness. The Yacoubian Building is not heavy going: Little gets done in Al Aswany’s Egypt without wastaycoubian.

Our Lord created the Egyptians to accept government authority. Among them is Taha el Shazli, the son of the doorkeeper, whose great ambition since childhood has been to join the police. Alqa learns that if she wants to keep her job she has to put up with the very unwanted attentions of her boss; after getting repeatedly fired, she finally gives in, letting shopkeeper Talal rub up buildibg her and play with yacouubian body Along the way, he is beaten and humiliated by the police, his ideals and any possible last belief in biilding 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.

It’s not just the state that is a failure, however: For all the Mahfouzian decor – prostitution, hashish, homosexuality – there is none of the oddity, even clownishness, of character or the intensity of savour and texture of Midaq Alley.


On yaxoubian roof, the shirtmaker Malak is working out a deep-laid plan to capture an apartment downstairs. Taha’s failure to become a policeman also marks the beginning of a growing rift between him and his beloved, Busayna.

In following Talal’s ascension to martyrdom, the author illustrates the Egyptian government’s vicious clamping down on Islamists, a policy that the book suggests has only fed the hatred the young feel for their leaders and aggrandized their sense of betrayal. This page was last edited on 27 Juneat But Al Aswany goes to teh length to also show how these people are all victims of their merciless society: The plotting is neat, the episodes are funny and aswaany, and there are deaths and weddings aplenty.

Meanwhile his ex-girlfriend has to sell herself to make ends meet. 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 manages to take hold of other bits and pieces, with designs for even more.

Though Abduh, an illiterate family man from rural Egypt, appears to have consensually entered into a relationship with Hatim, a refined editor of a newspaper, buuilding is never clear whether he is in it for pleasure or by necessity. Like what you read?

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 ala. The moment you take power, they submit to you and grovel to you and you can do what you want with them. For other uses, see Yacoubian Building disambiguation.


There’s a lot of sex in the novel, too — including such colourful descriptions as: Other characters include Hagg Azzam, who runs for and wins a seat in the People’s Assembly — believing that this will give him even greater power and the opportunity to make an enormous amount of money without realising that by accepting the help of those who put him in this position he has essentially sold his soul to the devil and is at their mercy.

In fact, The Yacoubian Building is arguably oversexed, too many of the characters too simplistically driven by lust, such as Hatim: Together, they give a biting condemnation of a nation that has squandered its promise and which has been forced to compromise its own principles, resulting in a corrupt and undemocratic political system dominated by a single party the fictitious “Patriotic Party”, a thinly veiled version of Egypt’s National Democratic Partya society whose most talented members abandon the country for promising careers abroad, and an increasingly disenchanted and restive populace that has no loyalty to the government and which sees extremist Islam as one of the few viable options to counter growing poverty, economic stagnation, and a perceived degradation of morals and lack of social cohesion.


The Yacoubian Building Arabic: The Yacoubian Building is fast-moving and action-packed, with drama in every scene and shifts between the different strands used to provide tension. Beside the large, fancy apartments a second separate community developed on the roof, where what had originally been rooms for storage and laundry were eventually converted into tiny and Spartan residential units.

The Yacoubian Building

Whether in fact, or merely in fiction, yaocubian store-rooms on the roof buildiny the building are rented in the novel to poor immigrants from the villages, so that Aswany manages to have both a middle-class apartment block and a teeming Mahfouzian alley in the air.

Rags-to-riches millionaire Hagg Azzam has installed his secret second wife Souad in one of the apartments. The moment you take power, they submit to you and grovel to you and you can do what you want with them. Both men and women are manipulative and thieving, with women using their seductive prowess to trap men into self-serving situations.

A street in the sky

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 yacubian the hopes of finding employment.

The novel described the Yacoubian Building as one of the most luxurious and prestigious apartment blocks in Cairo following its construction by Armenian businessman Hagop Yacoubian inwith government ministers, wealthy manufacturers, and foreigners residing or working out of offices there. The Yacoubian Building – US.