"From Egypt" attempts to draw a cultural map of Egypt and the Arab world by profiling the artistic, literary, and political issues that affect the region via on-the-ground coverage of current events, publications, and the fight for freedom of expression.

Read column in Arabic

Hamdy El-Gazzar is an Egyptian writer and one of the 39 young Arab writers included in the Beirut 39 Project. His first novel, Sihr Aswad (Dar Merit, 2005) won the prestigious Sawaris Award, and was subsequently translated by Humphrey Davies (Black Magic, AUC Press, 2007). His second novel, Ladhdhat Sirriyya (Secret Pleasures) was published by Dar al-Dar in 2008. He is currently working on a third novel.
  • Map of Islamic Caliphate c. 750 AD
    Sedition of the Caliphate

    Did the ‘Caliphate’ really exist as a political and religious regime for transferring authority through Islamic history? Author Hamdy el-Gazzar comments on Islamic historian Mohammad Abu Rahma’s new book about the fight for authority throughout the more than 600-year history of Caliphate rule.


  • Egypt Flag Revolution
    The Evening of Friday, February 11, 2011

    In this week’s column, Egyptian writer Hamdy el-Gazzar offers a personal account of the evening of February 11, 2011, the day former president Hosni Mubarak stepped down from office, ushering what he and many in the streets of Cairo celebrated as a new promising chapter for Egypt.


  • Cover: The Arena's Shout
    The Arena’s Outcry

    This week Hamdy el-Gazzar introduces us to The Arena’s Shout, a new book that studies the lexicon of the Egyptian Revolution. The book examines 650 different slogans that were chanted by protestors gathered at Tahrir Square and other public places across Egypt.


  • Egyptian Protest
    I Don’t Feel Any Revolutionary Frustration!

    Writer Hamdy El-Gazzar reminds the “frustrated revolutionary” that Egyptians have achieved a lot to be proud of since the start of the revolution on January 25, 2011. “Remembering is good medicine for frustration, but what’s better is keeping what we own and paying attention to it.”


  • Mohamed Morsi
    Morsi in Prison

    “Mohamed Morsi, who served as president for a year, was not capable of leading a country like Egypt—especially after a revolution that effectively toppled a dictator who had ruled for 30 years.” Writer and Egypt columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar on the ousted Egyptian president.


  • Bar
    Hard Luck Bar

    “Like any other bar in any city on earth, nothing was overwhelming…” Traveling the American Midwest six years later, Egyptian writer Hamdy El-Gazzar finds a familiar bar full of characters, life, and creative inspiration.


  • Randyland Entrance
    Live, Love, Laugh, and Create

    Egyptian writer and Sampsonia Way columnist Hamdy El-Gazzar shares his notes from a recent stay at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh earlier this month. In this account, he stumbles upon the fun-filled art project Randyland, which is just around the corner from COAP writers’ residences.


Fearless, Ink.