Using Life

Using Life

( Arabic - Istikhdam al-haya ( استخدام الحياة ) - 2014 )

novel by Ahmed Naji

translated by Benjamin Koerber

Published: University of Texas Press ( Emerging Voices of the Middle East ) - trade paperback - ) 2017
1477314806/ 9781477314807

University of Texas Press - e-book - 2017
eISBN: 147731481 4 / 9781477314814
eISBN: 1477314822 / 9781477314821

Set in modern-day Cairo, this novel follows a young filmmaker, Bassam Bahgat, after a secret society hires him to create a series of documentary films about the urban planning and architecture of Cairo. The Society of Urbanists, Bassam discovers, is responsible for centuries of world-wide conspiracies that have shaped political regimes, geographical boundaries, reigning ideologies, and religions. It is responsible for today's Cairo - and for everywhere else, too. Yet its methods are subtle and indirect: it operates primarily through manipulating urban architecture, rather than brute force. As Bassam immerses himself in the Society and its shadowy figures, he finds Cairo on the brink of a planned apocalypse, designed to wipe out the whole city and rebuild anew.


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