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Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller

Release date: October 5, 2021
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Description

Nadia Wassef is an owner of Diwan, Egypt's first modern bookstore, which she co-founded in 2002 w... Read More

Product Description

Nadia Wassef is an owner of Diwan, Egypt's first modern bookstore, which she co-founded in 2002 with her sister, Hind. She received an MFA from Birkbeck College at the University of London; a Master in Social Anthropology from the University of London; and a Master in English from American University in Cairo. Before Diwan, she worked in research and advocacy for the Female Genital Mutilation Taskforce and in the Women and Memory Forum. Featured on the Forbes List of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Wassef's work has been covered in Time, Monocle, Business Monthly, and elsewhere. She lives in London with her two daughters.

The streets of Cairo make strange music. The echoing calls to prayer; the raging insults hurled between drivers; the steady crescendo of horns honking; the shouts of street vendors; the television sets and radios blaring from every sidewalk. Nadia Wassef knows this song by heart.

In 2002, with her sister, Hind, and their friend, Nihal, she founded Diwan, a fiercely independent bookstore. They were three young women with no business degrees, no formal training, and nothing to lose. At the time, nothing like Diwan existed in Egypt. Culture was languishing under government mismanagement, and books were considered a luxury, not a necessity. Ten years later, Diwan had become a rousing success, with ten locations, 150 employees, and a fervent fan base.

Frank, fresh, and very funny, Nadia Wassef's memoir tells the story of this journey. Its eclectic cast of characters features Diwan's impassioned regulars, like the demanding Dr. Medhat; Samir, the driver with CEO aspirations; meditative and mythical Nihal; silent but deadly Hind; dictatorial and exacting Nadia, a self-proclaimed bitch to work with-and the many people, mostly men, who said Diwan would never work.

Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller is a portrait of a country hurtling toward revolution, a feminist rallying cry, and an unapologetic crash course in running a business under the law of entropy. Above all, it is a celebration of the power of words to bring us home.

The streets of Cairo make strange music. The echoing calls to prayer; the raging insults hurled between drivers; the steady crescendo of horns honking; the shouts of street vendors and radios blaring from every sidewalk. Nadia Wassef knows this song by heart.

In 2002, with her sister, Hind, and their friend, Nihal, she founded Diwan, a fiercely independent bookstore. They were three young women with no business degrees, no formal training, and nothing to lose. At the time, nothing like Diwan existed in Egypt. Culture was languishing under government mismanagement, and books were considered a luxury, not a necessity. Ten years later, Diwan became a rousing success, with ten locations, 150 employees, and a fervent fan base.

Frank, fresh and very funny, Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller is a portrait of a country hurtling toward a revolution, a feminist rallying cry, and an unapologetic crash course in running a business under the law of entropy. Above all, it is a celebration of the power of words to bring us home.

The warm and winning story of opening a modern bookstore where there were none, Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller recounts Nadia Wassef's troubles and triumphs as a founder and manager of Cairo-based Diwan.'A moving portrait of Diwan and the Cairo that embraced it, an ode to all the people who have kept it going''A unique memoir about career, life, love, friendship, motherhood, and the impossibility of succeeding at all of them at the same time. It is the story of Diwan, the first modern bookstore in Cairo, which was opened by three women, one of whom penned this book. As a bookstore owner I found this fascinating. As a reader I found it fascinating. Blunt, honest, funny''Each chapter tells of a different section of the bookshop/cafe, with the memoir exploring the many challenges and difficulties the women faced in their enterprise. Her story is a fascinating and enlightening one'

Product Details

Title: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller
Author: Nadia Wassef
SKU: BK0454188
EAN: 9781472156839
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Release date: October 5, 2021

About Author

Nadia Wassef is an owner of Diwan, Egypt's first modern bookstore, which she co-founded in 2002 with her sister, Hind. She received an MFA from Birkbeck College at the University of London; a Master in Social Anthropology from the University of London; and a Master in English from American University in Cairo. Before Diwan, she worked in research and advocacy for the Female Genital Mutilation Taskforce and in the Women and Memory Forum. Featured on the Forbes List of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the Middle East in 2014, 2015, and 2016, Wassef's work has been covered in Time, Monocle, Business Monthly, and elsewhere. She lives in London with her two daughters.

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