The Marble Lawn

I was seven when my father left for Saudi Arabia.

Occupy Godhead

As the motorcade crept up Broadway, the shower of tickertape and confetti was so thick that one might have failed to notice Emperor Haile Selassie I, serene as a saint, buried in the pomp and protocol of his own welcoming.

Soft Readers Prefer Hard Covers

Last year, for the first time, e-books outsold hardback editions on We are past the Rubicon. It’s a new frontier for digitized distribution, a post-publishing paroxysm.

The Chibsi Challenge

Crisps or chips?

In the Presence of Absence: Present without leave

Mahmoud Darwish’s later poetry is a gathering of ghosts.


My first introduction to Egypt’s Beverly Hills came sometime in 2006. Its billboard loomed over a dust-coated building, visible from a crossroads of thoroughfares and the looping tentacles of the mammoth bridge that links downtown to every other part of the city.

Hamlet’s Arab Journey

Nasser was not Hamlet, and he was no Macbeth.

The Bequest of Quest

Quest was strange, delightful, controversial, and mostly forgotten.

Iman Issa: Radical subtraction

A long glass display case holds a meticulous arrangement of an older man’s effects, including cufflinks, a pocket watch, a letter opener, and two albums of black-and-white photographs.

Call Me Soft

On a warm August night in Brussels, a curator, Orient, of feminist inclination, dressed up in an Egyptian belly dance costume, swaying her hips and breasts to Umm Kulthum’s epic song of a thousand and one nights.

The Serendipity of Sand

If my former boss were reduced to a collection of ideal geometric forms, he would be a circle and a line segment. If described by a child, in deepest winter: two-thirds of a snowman on a stick.

A Rose in the Desert

Letter to the Editors


Talk of the Townhouse: William Wells

A conversation with William Wells, director of The Townhouse Gallery in downtown Cairo, where Bidoun was in residency for two months.

The Revolution Will Not Be Fictionalized

The writer Mahmoud Othman talks about his sci-fi novel Revolution 2053, which, in more ways than one, prophesied the events of the revolution of 2011.

Enough is Not Enough: Abdel-Halim Qandil

Abdel-Halim Qandil is a prolific journalist and editor whose work has been censored or banned many times in the past decade.

Practical Advice: Ganzeer

A conversation with the graffiti artist Ganzeer.

Thirty-Three Questions

What has schizophrenia to do with serious art?

“Who Said He Was Not Tortured?”: The Medical Examiner

On three consecutive nights at the end of April, TV journalist Yousry Fouda’s show Akher Kalam (Last Words) considered the case of Dr.

Muslim Bro 2.0: Abdel-Moneim Abou El Fotouh

This past May, Abdel-Moneim Abou El Fotouh announced that he would run for president of Egypt.