spring not over


Yet, for all the pain and the setbacks, there is no doubt that the political upheaval has transformed the consciousness of Arabs. Last year’s revolts, particularly the drama in Tahrir Square, opened Arab eyes to the tantalising possibility of change. In a region held back by authoritarianism and bedevilled by social divisions and sectarian tensions, people were brought together in a rare show of unity, the liberals embracing the Islamists, the Muslims praying next to the Christians. Beyond the revolutionary countries, people looked on hopefully, believing for the first time in the possibility of overcoming decades of tyranny and inequality. For those hoping to relive the moment it all changed, novelist Ahdaf Soueif, author of the Man Booker-shortlisted The Map of Love and also a leftist activist, takes you into an unfolding revolution almost day by day. In Cairo: My City, Our Revolution, the story of Egypt’s uprising is intertwined with biographical detail and wrapped in an overwhelming passion for Cairo, a city that she feels had been disfigured by previous regimes and only now can be reclaimed as her own.

more from Roula Khalaf at the FT here.