463 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.
text txt rdacontent.
unmediated n rdamedia.
volume nc rdacarrier.
Maps on lining papers.
Includes bibliographical references (pages 435-450) and index.
The president -- The coup -- The president.
"Drawn by an abiding fascination with Egypt's rich history and civilization, Peter Hessler moved with his wife and twin daughters to Cairo to explore a place that had a powerful hold over his imagination. He wanted to learn Arabic, explore Cairo's neighborhoods, research ancient history, and visit the legendary archeological digs. After years of covering China for The New Yorker, friends warned him it would be a much quieter place. But just before his arrival, the Arab Spring had reached Egypt and the country was in chaos. In the midst of the revolution, he attached himself to an important archeological dig at a site rich in royal tombs known in as al-Madfuna, or "The Buried." He and his wife set out to master Arabic, striking up an important friendship with their language instructor, a cynical political sophisticate named Rifaat. And a very different kind of friendship was formed with their garbage collector, an illiterate neighborhood character named Saaed, whose access to the trash of Cairo would be its own kind of archeological excavation. Along the way, he meets a family of Chinese small business owners who have cornered the nation's lingerie trade; their pragmatic view of the political crisis is a bracing counterpoint to the West's conventional wisdom. Through the lives of these and other ordinary people in a time of tragedy and heartache, and through connections between contemporary Egypt and its ancient past, Hessler creates an astonishing portrait of a country and its people. What emerges is a book of uncompromising intelligence and humanity--the story of a land in which a weak state has collapsed but its underlying society remains in many ways painfully the same."--Amazon.com.