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AUC Press's Description
A journey through Central Asia and beyond, Moon over Samarqand is the story of one Egyptian’s quest for the truth. Seeking explanations to his troubled past through a long-lost friend in Samarqand, Ali’s travel brings him into encounters with the Uzbekistan of today, yesterday, and once upon a time. His tale embraces many tales—those of his confounding taxi driver, of Islamic activists, and of the criminal underworld, as well as stories of struggles against authoritarianism in Egypt. Woven among these are legendary tales of gypsies, khans, and madmen, of magic, treasure, and love.
Drawing parallels between Uzbekistan and Egypt, the novel shows diverse historical and modern connections between Central Asia and the Arab world. Painting a vivid portrayal of idealistic visionaries and brutal regimes, the novel explores power struggles between opposition currents and governments since the Uzbeki Soviet era and Egypt’s Nasser period.
Moon over Samarqand received the 2006 Sawiris Foundation Award for Literature.