2025: fourteen years after the failed revolution, Egypt is invaded once more. As traumatized Egyptians eke out a feral existence in Cairo's dusty downtown, former cop Ahmed Otared joins a group of fellow officers seeking Egypt's liberation through the barrel of a gun. As Cairo becomes a foul cauldron of drugs, sex, and senseless violence, Otared finally understands his country's fate. In this unflinching and grisly novel, Mohammad Rabie envisages a grim future for Egypt, where death is the only certainty. Rabie will be joining us for a reading of his novel, which was recently translated into the English by Robin Moger. The Brooklyn-based Arabic poet Mona Kareem will read an excerpt in translation and host a discussion with the novelist on contemporary Arabic literature and dystopian fiction. Copies of the book will be available in Arabic and English for signing.
Born in Cairo in 1978, Mohammad Rabie is an architect and the author of three novels. His first novel, Amber Planet, came out in 2010 and won the First Prize in the Emerging Writers category of the Sawiris Cultural Award Competition in 2011. His second novel, Year of the Dragon, was released in 2012. Otared, his third novel, was published in early 2015 to much fanfare and was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2016 (popularly referred to as the Arabic Booker).
Mona Kareem is a poet and translator based in Brooklyn. She is the author of three poetry collections in Arabic, most recently What I Sleep For Today (2016). She is a doctoral candidate in the Comparative Literature program at SUNY Binghamton.