Playing Cards in Cairo

Playing Cards in Cairo

Book - 2008
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Recently installed in Cairo as a freelance journalist and expat barfly, Hugh Miles soon meets and falls in love with Roda, a beautiful Egyptian doctor, who introduces him to Egypt's favourite pastime, the card game tarneeb, to her all-female card circle, and to a previously unseen side of life in the Middle East's greatest city.
While the women cut and shuffle, Miles listens to their stories and learns about what it means to be a young Muslim woman, dating, dieting and divorcing in a country where traditional Islamic values are in the ascendant. Yosra struggles with an addiction to prescription drugs; Nadia copes with a baby and an abusive husband; neighbour Reem comes to terms with plastic surgery gone wrong; while her sister attempts to conceal her secret love-marriage from her family and to breathe life into a clothes shop run by a regime apparatchik with an Islamist vision of retail.
Hugh Miles takes a fascinating sideways look at the lives of young Egyptians, and finds himself on a romantic adventure that will lead him to Islam and bind him to the Arab world for ever.
Publisher: London : Abacus, 2008.
ISBN: 9780349119793
0349119791
Branch Call Number: 305.486 MIL
Characteristics: 279 p. ; 24 cm.

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valpro
Apr 10, 2010

Interesting personal account of getting to know the Egyptian psyche. Hugh Miles often comments on issues outside of personal. Although these analyses (often political) are interesting, they are not always well integrated into the story line. Good reading for someone going to live/work/travel in Egypt.

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