The Yacoubian Building
The Yacoubian Building (Arabic: عمارة يعقوبيان ‘Imārat Ya‘qūbyān) is a novel by Egyptian author Alaa-Al-Aswany. The book was made into a film of the same name in 2006 and into a TV series in 2007.
Published in Arabic in 2002 and in an English translation in 2004, the book, ostensibly set in 1990 at about the time of the first Gulf War, is a roman à clef and scathing portrayal of modern Egyptian society since the Revolution of 1952. The locale of the novel is downtown Cairo, with the titular apartment building (which actually exists) serving as both a metaphor for contemporary Egypt and a unifying location in which most of the primary characters either live or work and in which much of the novel's action takes place. The author, a dentist by profession, had his first office in the Yacoubian Building in Cairo.
The Yacoubian Building was the best-selling Arabic novel for 2002 and 2003, and was voted Best Novel for 2003 by listeners to Egypt's Middle East Broadcasting Service. It has been translated into 23 languages.
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