Clouds Over Alexandria: A Novel by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, Translated by Kay Heikkinen
In the city of Alexandria, five students encounter political struggle and the casual cruelty of a harsh government, but ultimately love and resilience.
In the 1970s, once-cosmopolitan Alexandria was at the forefront of the clash between Nasser's socialist-era principles and the burgeoning fundamentalist movement. Five idealistic students find themselves caught up in this tangled web, as their leftist activism makes them a target both from government surveillance and the Islamist groups seeking to curtail the city's social life. The group of friends' participation in the explosive 'bread riots' is swiftly followed by the crushing experience of prison, and the course of their young lives changes irrevocably.
This story of love, aspiration for social change, disillusionment, and frustration will resonate today in the wake of current political upheavals.