Al-Qata'i

cover art
 
456 pp., 7 x 10
Hardcover
ISBN: 9781647122874 ()

eBook
ISBN: 9781647122881

E-Inspection
Request E-Inspection


April 2023
Sales Rights: WORLD

EXPLORE THIS TITLE

Description
Table of Contents
Reviews


Al-Qata'i
Ibn Tulun's City Without Walls
Reem Bassiouney
Translated from Arabic by Roger Allen
An award-winning novelist's vibrant portrayal of the struggle to create a more unified society in medieval Egypt and how this has shaped Egypt today.

Brimming with intrigue, adventure, and romance, Al-Qata'i: Ibn Tulun's City Without Walls tells the epic story of visionary Egyptian leader Ahmad Ibn Tulun who built Al-Qata'i (now Cairo) into a thriving multicultural empire.

The novel begins with the rediscovery of the Ibn Tulun Mosque in 1918 and recounts Ibn Tulun's life and legacy in the ninth and tenth centuries. Bassiouney presents Ibn Tulun's benevolent vision to unify all Egyptians in a new city, Al-Qata'i. He becomes so focused on his vision, however, that he cannot see the impact it has on his family or the fate of Egypt. When a betrayal leads to his demise, the rival Abbasid caliph threatens to regain control of Al-Qata'i. In the aftermath of Ibn Tulun's death, his daughter Aisha emerges as a pivotal figure, bravely taking a stand against the Abbasids to preserve her life, the city, and the iconic mosque.

This contemporary Egyptian writer forces us to consider universal themes, such as diversity and equality, through both a historical and intercultural lens that enriches our understanding of these issues in our world today.
Reem Bassiouney is an Egyptian author living in Cairo. She won the Naguib Mahfouz Award for best Egyptian novel for Sons of the People: The Mamluk Trilogy. She also won the 2009 Sawiris Foundation Literary Prize for Young Writers and the 2009 King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies Translation of Arabic Literature Award.

Roger Allen is an Arabic literature scholar and translator. He is credited with bringing Naguib Mahfouz to international recognition.
Reviews
"A journey to ninth and tenth century Egypt, recounting the intrigues of power, love, and revenge."—Pauline Kaldas, Author of Letters from Cairo, The Time Between Places, and Looking Both Ways



"This trilogy is a mountain of verifiable historical facts wrapped in an exotic atmosphere which emanates the magical along with the surreal. It bespeaks a rich imagination enhanced by period poetry and viable motifs—an unforgettable read."—Nazek Fahmy, Ahram Online



"Bassiouney offers a singular perspective stretching across the many stages of Egyptian history to narrate the human experience of life: endeavor, love, loss, injustice, forgiveness, and the making of meaning ... Taken together, [Bassiouney's] historical fiction provides a unique contribution to world literature."—Melanie Magidow, Translator of The Tale of Princess Fatima, Warrior Woman: The Arabic Epic of Dhat al-Himm



"A professor of linguistics as well as an award- winning novelist, [Bassiouney] is alive to the tricks of language and the words her characters dress themselves in."—Amir-Hussein Radjy, Times Literary Supplement

Table of Contents
The First Story: Maisoon

Part One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Part Two

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Part Three

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Part Four

Chapter Fifteen


The Second Story: Ahmad's Dream

Part One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Part Two

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven


The Third Story: The Pledge

Part One

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Part Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Part Three

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Part Four

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve


Afterword

List of Characters

Timeline

About the Author

About the Translator