"In the course of my long travels I have never seen a city so devastated. After a long time I ventured out into the streets. Death, cold and heavy, hung in the air. Walls have no value here, doors have been eliminated. No one is certain that they will see another day."
Gamal al-Ghitani, born in Upper Egypt in 1945, is the author of The Mahfouz Dialogs (AUC Press, 2007), Pyramid Texts (AUC Press, 2007), and The Zafarani Files (AUC Press, 2009). Farouk Abdel Wahab is Ibn Rushd Professorial Lecturer in Arabic at the University of Chicago. His most recent translation is Gamal al-Ghitani's The Zafarani Files (AUC Press, 2009).