An Interview with Youssef Rakha: Author of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal

Youssef Rakha is the author of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal: Strange Incidents from History in the City of Mars.  Cairo where Rakha lives and works, is at the heart of much of his work. His vision is particularly interesting in the light of the Egyptian revolution. It echoes the general dissatisfaction… Read more“An Interview with Youssef Rakha: Author of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal”

Review: All the Battles my Maan Abu Taleb

There are things All the Battles by Maan Abu Taleb is not. It is not a cliched story based on a Rocky film. It is not an Arab version of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club in which the protagonist discovers fighting in order to feel “alive”.  Whilst Abu Taleb’s first novel… Read more“Review: All the Battles my Maan Abu Taleb”

Political Islam in Tunisia: a History of Ennahda and the Tunisian Exception

One of the most interesting books this summer may be a rather innocuous book by Anne Wolf, a leading Tunisia and North Africa specialist. In Political Islam in Tunisia: A History of Ennahda, Wolf, a University of Oxford researcher, presents the hidden history of Ennahda, Tunisia’s main Islamist movement, from… Read more“Political Islam in Tunisia: a History of Ennahda and the Tunisian Exception”

Ibn Fadlan’s Journey to Russia: A Tenth Century Traveller from Baghdad to the Volga River Trans. Richard Frye

Review By Tam Hussein – Reproduced with the kind permission of Emel magazine Issue 67 April 2010. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 Velidi Togan, leader of the Bashkirt Republic, was arrested and condemned to death by Lenin. Togan managed to escape and joined local forces in Central Asia to… Read more“Ibn Fadlan’s Journey to Russia: A Tenth Century Traveller from Baghdad to the Volga River Trans. Richard Frye”