Cairo Swan Song: A Novel by Mekkawi Said, Translated by Adam Talib
In the shadows of great wealth, and among Cairo's famous monuments, runs a world of street children. Mustafa, a former student radical who never really believed in the slogans, sets out to tell their story through a documentary he is making with his American girlfriend, Marcia. Alienated from a corrupt and corrupting society, Mustafa watches as the Cairo he cherishes crumbles around him. His former leftist comrades are now all either capitalists or Islamists, while his friends and acquaintances struggle to find lovers worthy of their love and causes worthy of their sacrifice, in a country that no longer deserves their loyalty. Meanwhile, the children of the streets wait for the city to take notice. Cairo Swan Song weaves together a patchwork narrative of overlapping lives, dreams, and realities all centering on Cairo's famous downtown neighborhood.