Playing Cards in Cairo (英語) ペーパーバック – 2008/4/3
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Recently installed in Cairo as a freelance journalist and expat barfly, Hugh Miles soon meets and falls in love with Roda, a beautiful Egyptian doctor, who introduces him to Egypt's favourite pastime, the card game tarneeb, to her all-female card circle, and to a previously unseen side of life in the Middle East's greatest city. While the women cut and shuffle, Miles listens to their stories and learns about what it means to be a young Muslim woman, dating, dieting and divorcing in a country where traditional Islamic values are in the ascendant. Yosra struggles with an addiction to prescription drugs; Nadia copes with a baby and an abusive husband; neighbour Reem comes to terms with plastic surgery gone wrong; while her sister attempts to conceal her secret love-marriage from her family and to breathe life into a clothes shop run by a regime apparatchik with an Islamist vision of retail. Hugh Miles takes a fascinating sideways look at the lives of young Egyptians, and finds himself on a romantic adventure that will lead him to Islam and bind him to the Arab world for ever.
For AL JAZEERA: ** 'Western policymakers have much to learn from this stylish, highly intelligent book' DAILY TELEGRAPH ** 'Pacey, nicely written and well contexualised' INDEPENDENT ** 'A must-read for anyone interested in understanding the Arab world now - and what it might become' SCOTSMAN商品の説明をすべて表示する
Incidents that happen around the women in this group become the hooks on which Hugh Miles can hang accounts of other aspects of Egypt and of Cairo life which he has covered as a journalist. So, for example, the reference to one brother, a policeman who has been sent to work in a prison (where he actually respects the pious and educated Islamists who are often held for months or years simply on suspicion) leads to a description of the horrific conditions in Egyptian prisons. The horrors of compulsory military service are hardly less: "the military regards fewer than one in four men killed in training as an acceptable fatality rate." There are descriptions of the huge difficulties of many people, even educated ones, have to find jobs, even though the Egyptian civil service is massively overmanned, with four or five people doing jobs which could easily be done by one person.
He is fond of the women he meets in Roda's home; but, not surprisingly, he is not fond of Egypt.
Hatem A Tawfik, MD