Egyptian Earth

Abdel Rahman Al-Sharqawi


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Saqi Books
20 February 2024
ISBN: 9780863569685
256 pages

From the publisher

Translated by Desmond Stirling Stewart

A twelve-year old boy returns from school in Cairo to find his village torn by feuding and fear. A corrupt official has decreed that the peasants must irrigate their fields in five days instead of the customary ten – a demand that threatens to severely disrupt the life of this small community. It will take something extraordinary for the villagers to overcome the greedy ruling-class.

The schoolmaster Sheikh Hassouna urges the villagers to stand together if they want to keep custody of the land they have lived on for generations. But it takes many attempts, some disastrous, others comical and touching, before they join forces against their oppressors.

Egyptian Earth was first published in 1954, two years after the Egyptian revolution. An epic drama of great power, it is a masterpiece of modern Arabic literature.