Medhat is an orphaned boy who grows up shuffling between various farming families in the beautiful province of Ismailia, north of Egypt. What was intended to be a brief visit for the five-year-old to Cairo ends up being the beginning of a nomadic life no one could have imagined for him. Medhat’s journey takes him across the many landmarks of Egypt and beyond, all the way to Vienna where he discovers that his feelings of displacement still haunt him at the core.
In a narrative that interweaves aspects of Egyptian folklore, epic prose and classical literature, Mahmoudi skillfully presents the conflict between the man in exile who reflects longingly on his history and origins, and the village boy who belonged nowhere.
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Hamad bin Khalifa UniversityQatar Faculty of Islamic Studies
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