Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller
by Nadia Wassef
In 2002, three young women with no business degrees, no formal training, and nothing to lose founded a fiercely independent bookstore. At the time, nothing like Diwan existed in Cairo. Culture was languishing under government mismanagement, and books were considered a luxury, not a necessity.
Over the next decade, these three women would contend with censors, chauvinists, critics, one another and many people who said they would never succeed in establishing Diwan as Cairo’s leading bookstore. Frank, fresh and very funny, Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller is a portrait of a country hurtling toward a revolution, a feminist rallying cry, and an unapologetic crash course in running a business under the law of entropy. Above all, it is a celebration of the power of words to bring us home.