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Egyptian Earth

Egyptian Earth

Foreword by Robin Ostle

Translated by Desmond Stewart


9780863565137 May 2005 Paperback 251pp

About the Book

A twelve-year-old boy returns from his school in Cairo to find his village torn by feuding and fear. A corrupt official has ordered the peasants to irrigate their fields in five days instead of the customary ten, a demand that threatens to severely disrupt the life of this small community.

The schoolmaster Sheikh Hassouna urges the villagers to rebel. But it takes many attempts – some disastrous, others comical and touching – before they join forces and stand against their oppressors.

Sharqawi’s novel, set in the 1930s, was first published in 1954 – two years after the Egyptian revolution. A masterpiece of modern Arabic literature, Egyptian Earth has been translated into many languages and was made into a popular film by the well-known Egyptian director Youssef Chahine.

About the Author

Abdel Rahman al-Sharqawi was born in the Egyptian province of Menoufia in 1920. His work as a poet, novelist and playwright is highly regarded for its realism and commitment to social issues of the day. He died in 1987.


'A classic of modern Egyptian literature.'
The Observer

'An acknowledged masterpiece of modern Arabic literature.'
University Press Book News

'Egyptian Earth deserves renewed attention as a compelling contribution to international literature.'
In These Times