x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Liberation Square: Firsthand account of Egyptian uprising

Ashraf Khalil's firsthand account of the Tahrir Square uprising, is one of the more accessible examples of "Spring-lit" to have emerged so far.

Liberation Square
Ashraf Khalil
St Martin's Press
Dh103
Liberation Square Ashraf Khalil St Martin's Press Dh103

Fewer non-fiction titles on the Arab Spring have been written from the perspective of someone who has been a key witness to most of the events, as opposed to the more prevalent political analyses that were published last year. Ashraf Khalil, a veteran journalist based in Cairo for the last 15 years, manages to fill that gap with his firsthand account of the Tahrir Square uprising.

Frank and fair, Khalil's writing is a testament to his skills as a reporter.

He starts with the rise of Hosni Mubarak, continues steadily as Egypt's increasingly downtrodden masses stir themselves into prominence on the streets, but arrives at an open-ended, objective conclusion as the aftermath of the Tahrir protesters' victory emerges from the rubble of a bruised city.

Liberation Square turns out to be one of the more accessible examples of 'Spring-lit' to have emerged so far, thanks to Khalil's focus on the humane aspects of the uprising and his apolitical stance amid the successive waves of Egyptian parties readying themselves for potential leadership.