Middle East Travel
English edition  
September  2004
232 pp.
36 illus. 
Paperback
15.6X23.4 cm
$22.95
LE100
ISBN 9789774248764
For sale only in the Middle East

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Cairo

City of Sand Maria Golia

One woman’s view of the world

Cairo is a 1,400-year old metropolis whose streets are inscribed with sagas, a place where the pressures of life test people’s equanimity to the limit. Virtually surrounded by desert, sixteen million Cairenes cling to the Nile and each other, proximities that color and shape lives. Packed with incident and anecdote, Cairo: City of Sand describes the city’s given circumstances and people’s attitudes of response. Apart from a brisk historical overview, this book focuses on the present moment of one of the world’s most illustrious and irreducible cities. Cairo steps inside the interactions between Cairenes, examining the roles of family, tradition, and bureaucracy in everyday life. The book explores Cairo’s relationship with its ‘others,’ from the French and British occupations to modern influences like tourism and consumerism. Cairo also discusses characteristic styles of communication, and linguistic memes, including slang, grandiloquence, curses, and jokes. Cairo exists by virtue of these interactions, synergies of necessity, creativity, and the presence or absence of power. Cairo, City of Sand reveals a peerless urban balancing act, and transmits the city’s overriding message: the breadth of the human capacity for loss, astonishment, and delight.
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US-born Maria Golia is a well-traveled, long-time resident of Cairo. This is her first book.

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‘’A magnificent, multidimensional, eloquent and, above all, intelligent portrait of one of the world's most enigmatic places.’’—Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times

‘’Golia negotiates a subjet of near-infinite complexity with aphoristic precision, offering not the false certainties of a bird’s eye view but an intimate and serpentine tour through the paradoxes of an unknowable city.’’—Mike Jay, Fortean Times

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