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This sweeping vel depicts the intertwined lives of an assortment of Egyptians - Muslims and Copts, rtherners and southerners, men and women - as they begin to settle in Egypt's great second city, and explores how the Second World War, starting in supposedly faraway Europe, comes crashing down on them, affecting their lives in fateful ways. Central to the vel is the story of a striking friendship between Sheikh Magd al-Din, a devout Muslim with peasant roots in rthern Egypt, and Dimyan, a Copt with roots in southern Egypt, in their journey of survival and self-discovery. Woven around this narrative are the stories of other characters, in the city, in the villages, or in the faraway desert, closer to the fields of combat.
Ibrahim Abdel Meguid was awarded the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for his novel The Other Place (AUC Press, 1997).