On the State of Egypt

What Caused the Revolution

Alaa Al Aswany

On the State of Egypt by Alaa Al Aswany (eBook ISBN 9780857862167) book cover

Available as eBook

Author of the international bestseller The Yacoubian Building

On 25 January 2011, bestselling Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany joined a million protestors in Tahrir Square calling for President Hosni Mubarak’s departure. This was the moment he and other pro-democracy activists had been working towards, but could never be sure would come.

Why did Egypt unexpectedly revolt? In a weekly newspaper column Al Aswany had been exposing the injustices of the Mubarak regime for years, arguing that ‘democracy is the solution’. Here the most incisive, prescient and urgent of these pieces are gathered together in English for the first time. He examines the conditions that made Egypt ripe for revolution, from Mubarak’s monopoly on power and his determination to install his son as his successor, to the poverty in which half the population live. He also writes passionately about Egyptian society generally, including the treatment of women, free speech and the role of the State police.

On the State of Egypt is a brilliant and devastating critique of Mubarak’s rule, and an inspiring portrait of a people’s determination to rise up and make their voices heard.

“Al Aswany is a world writer, making Egyptian concerns into human ones and beautifully illuminating our always extraordinary and sometimes sad and baffling world.”
the Times

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“Alaa Al Aswany, the author of The Yacoubian Building is the novelist who best captured the bubbling frustrations of Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt.”
financial Times

“Al Aswany masterfully deciphers the forces behind social polarization over class, gender, race, religion, and politics … refusing simple answers and tidy conclusions.”

Alaa Al Aswany

Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. A dentist by profession, Al Aswany is the author of the bestselling novel The Yacoubian Building, Chicago and the novella and short story collection Friendly Fire. He lives in Cairo.