taha hussein

The call of the curlew (novel and movie)
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The end of 20th century brought about change in Egyptian state and the society. The year 1798, was the year in which Egypt was paid a visit from the French that triggered a series of important events. This is the year when Napoleon set his feet on the Egyptian soil challenging Ottoman state in Egypt for the first time after centuries. It is after this period that Mohammad Ali, an Egyptian ruler with Balkan origins decided to set Egypt to the path of modernization and reform.

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As I paid my last respects at Taha Hussein’s funeral, I felt as if I were paying paying my last respects not to a man but to an era: the era of the secularists who dared to question everything, the era of intellectuals who practised what they preached and imposed free will on all kinds of oppression. Despondency got the better of me and I was tormented by a sense of finality.
—  The Search, Latifa Zayyat