Being Abbas Elabd (An Takoun Abbas El Abd) by Ahmed Alaidy

In March of 2007, Kutub explored Ahmed Alaidy’s first novel, Being Abbas El Abd (An Takoun Abbas El Abd).

Being Abbas El Abd is an unconventionally and somewhat disorganized experience. Held together without a typical plot or timeline, its eleven chapters are an amalgam of subversive thoughts, humorous and then angry outbursts, wild punctuation and quasi-paranoid, somewhat disconcerting trains of thought.

Born in Saudi Arabia in 1974, the Egyptian Ahmed Alaidy’s work typifies a generation influenced by market culture, a cynical view of politics and the modern world’s general lack of attention span. Being Abbas El Abd is written in colloquial Arabic, full of slang yet mixed with classical Arabic as well, which, according to Humphrey Davies, a renowned translator of Arabic, results in “a disorienting sense of a breakdown of borders.”