"From Egypt" attempts to draw a cultural map of Egypt and the Arab world by profiling the artistic, literary, and political issues that affect the region via on-the-ground coverage of current events, publications, and the fight for freedom of expression.

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Hamdy El-Gazzar is an Egyptian writer and one of the 39 young Arab writers included in the Beirut 39 Project. His first novel, Sihr Aswad (Dar Merit, 2005) won the prestigious Sawaris Award, and was subsequently translated by Humphrey Davies (Black Magic, AUC Press, 2007). His second novel, Ladhdhat Sirriyya (Secret Pleasures) was published by Dar al-Dar in 2008. He is currently working on a third novel.
  • Bar
    Hard Luck Bar (Arabic Text)

    “Like any other bar in any city on earth, nothing was overwhelming…” Traveling through the American Midwest six years later, Egyptian writer Hamdy El-Gazzar finds a familiar bar full of characters, life, and creative inspiration.


  • Randyland Entrance
    Live, Laugh, Love, and Create (Arabic Text)

    Egyptian writer and Sampsonia Way columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar shares his notes from a recent stay at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh earlier this month. In this account, he stumbles upon the fun-filled art project Randyland, which is just around the corner from COAP’s writer residences.


  • Giza Sunset
    Writing… (Arabic Text)

    Egyptian writer and columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar talks about writing a novel, specifically his novel Secret Pleasures, as a way to discus what is “happening and happened in Egypt since the Kefaya movement appeared in 2004.”