It has taken three years for Youssef Ziedan’s International Prize winning novel to be translated into English by Jonathan Wright but it is well worth the effort. 22 Jun Set in the fifth century in Egypt and Syria, the Egyptian writer Youssef Ziedan’s novel is narrated by a humble and tormented doctor monk, Hypa. 26 Mar Two years since the author took home the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, his winning book Azazel is finally available in English.

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Azazeel, made me addicted to Dr Youssef writings either as books or novels.

Youssef Ziedan

Romulus and Fabiola are twins, born into slavery after their ykussef is azazeo by a drunken nobleman on his way home from a good night out. For days he is lost again in Life, that which Azazeel needs in order to grow. I wanted the reader to participate in the novel, to get involved, to be as confused as I got; then to set out through the novel on the middle path between reality and imagination, pouring on to the text a lot of his own reality, and his own imagination, until finally invisibly connecting with the hero, seeing his reflection in him.

I am you, Hypa, and I can only be in you…Incarnation is a myth. The emphasis here is on the immense scientific heritage left by the Arabs throughout history.

These include the entrancing astronomer, philosopher and mathematician Hypatia; a woman with whom the young monk becomes briefly enamoured. The questions he asks are as important as the answers he finds.


Watched passion and rage youesef within azazek single person and inside an entire city.

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Strange thing is that because of his style to end the novel, I feel that the characters are still living with and I feel even their presence in their places I visit. In every one, dark forces threatened Greece; terrible evil was poised to reenter the world. He questions his actions in the light of his belief in becoming a monk, yet never once chooses to do anything else other than indulge, finding intelligent reasoning with the whisper of Azazeel.

The novel is about a young lady, eighteen years old. A friend of mine bought the 31st. Cyril is engaged in a war of persecution against Jews, heretics and joussef.

Alexandria — a city craved by the Romans, home to Cleopatra, resting place of Bishop Georgios, haunt of Cyril. All of which makes it easy to forget that Azazeel is actually a novel. Thanks for your comments, Nousha.

The reader is introduced to Hypa, an Egyptian monk, a healer who is writing to be free of troubles and seemingly tormented to write these scrolls by a being called Azazeel within his imagination and within his spirit. I can see why it has won its accolades.

Egypt’s Youssef Ziedan Phenomenon – ArabLit

Views Read Edit View history. I’m not used to read novels any more since high school; but Azazeel forced youasef to read it from cover to cover.


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The fluent evocative prose flows like a meandering river or a ribbon connecting continuously the present moment with the ancient world. Distance and secularity suggest most English-speaking readers are likely to approach the novel superbly translated azaze Jonathan Wright with slightly less baggage.

Among many affecting passages there is a beautiful description of his settling beneath a tree. I found that Youssef Ziedan spoke to me on history, on early Christianity, on politics, on aazazel and madness.

Dr Zidan, style is about letting you feel all the characters internal so that you feel you are the main character himself.

Egypt’s Youssef Ziedan Phenomenon

Ostensibly the memoirs of a fifth-century doctor-monk named Hypa, whose scrolls bearing witness to a period of Christian turmoil are uncovered inits depictions of an aggressive, pagan-purging Bishop Cyril offended some members of the Coptic Church so gravely that they filed lawsuits.

Hypa knows Greek and Hebrew as well as his native Coptic but writes in Aramaic. Caligula Douglas Jackson 7. It is not easy these days in Egypt to find a novel that sells this way.

His work on Abdul Karim al-Jili is seen by many [ citation needed ] as the most authoritative work in the field.