In a Cairo State of Mind – The Dream City Podcast, Episode 2

Egyptian writer and satirist, Belal Fadl; credit: Hossam el-Hamalawy

A group of Egyptian activists sits around a cafe table engaged in a loud and heated discussion in Arabic. Mostly they debate the January 25 Revolution, each person tussling to have his or her voice heard. The man at the center of the conversation is Belal Fadl — one of Egypt’s most popular satirists and writers.

This gathering could be in Cairo, but it’s actually happening at a cafe in midtown Manhattan.

In this edition of the “Dream City” podcast, Shiva Bayat introduces us to Fadl, a man who lives in New York but whose life is run on “Cairo Time”.

“I’m not in exile… but a traveller,” Fadl says.  Like many of the Egyptians in his New York circle, he is very much in limbo.  For Fadl “The most important thing for a writer is to write, for his voice to be heard,” and so he negotiates his ‘virtual’ life in Egypt with his ‘physical’ life in New York to realize his dreams and aspirations.

You can read Belal Fadl’s articles and commentary on Al Araby al Jadid 

Fadl also hosts a web show in Arabic called “Aseer al Kitab,” which  literally translates to “Juice of Books,” where he reviews books, writers and influential thinkers of the Arab world.

Listen to the Dream City Podcast Episode 1: Mona Escapes.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.  

AboutShiva Bayat
A multimedia-maker and researcher living in New York City, Shiva is interested in the intersection of Arab & Muslim communities and popular culture.