Yousef Al-Basha, the Egyptian telugu author known for his translated novels, such as The Scorpion’s Bite and Here Lies the Legend of Amazons, is back with another book in the series. This time, it is entitled Yousef Al-Basha Yaga. I enjoyed his book, City of Saints. In that novel he took Egypt and presented it as a heroic place, full of strength and hope. In contrast to the weak and hopeless Egypt in the popular imagination of Westerners at the time, in Egypt, there were great cities, wealth and glory, not to mention a thriving economy that could be described in monetary terms, with Nile flooding its banks, and pharaonic walls to rival the Great Wall of China. Check this link for more info.
In this book, you will see some of the back stories of some of the major players in Egypt. Most of them were intriguing and engaging to say the least. Al-Basha has become more well known to American readers through his TV appearances, which have been critical and laudatory. He is now making his presence known here in America through Yousef Al-Basha.
Set in modern Cairo, in the shadow of the Pyramids of Giza, and in a palace that is still in good repair, you meet Ahmed, a young man from a poor family who has made himself a name in the city, along with his driver, Ahmed. Ahmed is well aware of the dangers of driving around in the wrong part of Cairo. There are scooters and taxis everywhere and he knows he might get into an accident. If he gets into an accident, he will end up losing his driver’s license.
Yousef Al-Basha takes us inside this bustling city. There are many things you can do and see in Cairo. You can enjoy the sights while sitting inside your hotel room, eating dinner, or walking to the metro. Tourist areas are nice and crowded. It seems there are never enough restaurants for all the people who want to eat. There is always a line for coffee or snack food.
Yousef Al-Basha takes us into the various shops in Cairo that have changed over the years. The market is very busy now and many people from different countries of the world come to buy what they want from the stalls. The Egyptian cotton industry has boomed in the last ten years and most of the cotton is imported from Africa. The cotton market is huge in Cairo and it is worth a stop to see how it is grown and to buy some.
When I was in Egypt I would often visit the university. Many students speak English there and so do many doctors. In fact, a few months ago I saw a Chinese doctor who was working at a hospital here. His accent was very strong and he spoke impeccable English and was working on an postgraduate degree.
This is only one example of a man from Cairo who changed his career. Yousef Al-Basha offers interesting insights about life here in Egypt. He speaks of the conservative society and yet there are many liberal minded people who have changed their lifestyles for the better. Life moves at a fast pace in Egypt today and it is very exciting. This is another reason why this book is very good.
The author does a very good job of describing the different areas of Cairo and also provides a vivid description of the Nile Valley. The different sectors of Cairo society are brilliantly described and you would be interested to know more. I am not sure if you would like the book to be more than forty pages. I found it to be short but interesting. It is not too heavy reading but at the same time there is enough material to interest you.