Egypt on the eve of the 1973 October war. A young man has been drafted into the army. His father, the village elder, persuades a poor night-watchman to send his own son as a stand-in. But the impersonation plan goes horribly wrong, with tragicomic results.
Qa'id's tale of the fiasco - steeped in irony and black humor - parodies outrageous corruption and ludicrous bureaucracy. A skillfully crafted mosaic of life in modern Egypt.
"It is a biting criticism of injustice which is also successful in its clever structural form. It is a portrait of Egypt during a period of reactionary reorientation nationally, and although not mentioned here, internationally."-Yusef al-Qa'id, The Morning Star