‘Those shelves have power’

Three women with a vision for Egypt
The ABR Podcast 27 January 2022

‘Those shelves have power’

Three women with a vision for Egypt
The ABR Podcast 27 January 2022

Beejay Silcox


In 2002, Nadia Wassef founded – with her sister, Hind, and their friend, Nihal – the Cairo-based independent bookstore Diwan. Wassef’s memoir, Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller, is a record of the setbacks and success of the store’s creation, while also an insight into a nation simmering with revolutionary politics. In today's episode, ABR critic Beejay Silcox, who spent several years living in Egypt, describes in a personal review how she stumbled upon Diwan on her first night in Cairo: ‘a pocket of alphabetised calm in the city’s ever-roiling chaos’.

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