PDF The Buried An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution Ó Peter Hessler

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Build their own illegal access ramp to the local highway or when Hessler stumbles upon the existence of a network of Chinese lingerie dealers spread out upon the existence of a network of Chinese lingerie dealers spread out Egypt All told along a three hundred mile stretch of the Nile in Upper Egypt I found twenty six Chinese lingerie dealers It was like mapping the territory of large predator cats in the Nile valley clusters of Chinese lingerie dealers tended to appear at intervals of thirty to fifty miles and the Nile valley clusters of Chinese lingerie dealers tended to appear at intervals of thirty to fifty miles and the of each cluster varied according to the local population Cairo was large enough to support dozensHessler mixes those stories in with a accounts of Egyptian current events showing us how they affect the lives of ordinary people and with archaeology including some very recent discoveries showing us some common threads linking ancient Egyptian culture with the present dayIt s a very information dense book and needs to be read slowly But I came away from it feeling enriched with understanding and wishing that there could be Hesslers giving us books along these lines about every country in the world Peter Hessler is a marvelous story teller The Buried is about Egyptian revolution archeology and politics but it is even about people and their storiesAll of Hessler s previous books had been about China He relished the idea of an adventure in another country learning of Hessler s previous books had been about China He relished the idea of an adventure in another country learning language In 2011 he and his wife moved to Cairo with twin daughters just over a year old He had no book contract and no assignment He wanted to delve into the ancient culture Like China Egypt has a deep and colorful history offering a complex experience Little did he anticipate just how rich his venture would be Lest the title of this book be off putting be assured that there is a cast of characters whose lives will begin to matter to you For example there s Rifaat the Arabic language teacher who understood local politics better than most Manu was a translator who was particularly useful early in Hessler s sojourn when he new less Arabic Manu who confided that he was gay had an active social life with both gay and straight friends a marginally illicit life that became difficult with the passage of time and a harsher regime Sayyid the trash collector was lively and curious even though illiterate In a nonfiction book it is unusual to think of needing to avoid spoilers In this instance I have to stay away from telling the full vigorous stories of these people because they offer suspense and surprise to the narrativeHessler s five years in Egypt encompassed the Arab Spring demonstrations the fall of Mubarak the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and President Morsi Morsi s overthrow and the military takeover with Sisi as leader Hessler s account focuses on his experiences and the experiences of others as reflections of a world in flux yet not always in flux as we come to appreciate the durable and excruciatingly inflexible nature of EgyptAfter I had read a while in The Buried An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution some implications of the book s subtitle begin to suggest themselves Locals called the site of the ancient Abydos digs The Buried Hessler often traveled to digs at Abydos and Amarna and at the same time he was doing his own digging finding pieces of Egyptian life politics and personalities that he assembled like an archeologist drawing insights from details and narratives He was able to get close to local officials and politicians in Abydos as well as Cairo The book is a page turner and I hadn t even realized that I might be interested in EgyptThe takeaway there is much in these pages about the path of revolution and its failure in Egypt And then there is a enduring picture through beautiful writing and reporting of life amid the revolutionI am grateful for an advance copy of this book from Penguin Pres. F the country proved a bracing counterpoint to the West's conventional wisdomThrough the lives of these and other ordinary people in a time of tragedy and heartache and through connections between contemporary Egypt and its ancient past Hessler creates an astonishing portrait of a country and its people What emerges is a book of uncompromising intelligence and humanity the story of a land in which a weak state has collapsed but its underlying society remains in many ways painfully the same A worthy successor to works like Rebecca West's Black Lamb and Grey Falcon and Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines The Buried bids fair to be recognized as one of the great books of our ti. This felt like a 3 For 1 Deal And I 1 deal and I that as a compliment The book was a fascinating look into the history of Egypt going between Ancient Egypt the Arab Spring and the personal lives of citizens who live currently in Egypt and are dealing with the changes on a personal level Adroitly combining the color and pacing of travel writing and investigative journalism with the tools and insight of anthropological fieldwork and political theory this stakes a strong claim to being the definitive book to emerge from the Egyptian revolution Publishers Weekly This is writing at its best and highly recommended for anyone interested in Egypt modern or ancient Library Journal starred review The Buried is wonderfully impressive not a conventional travel book at all but the chronicle of a family s residence in Egypt in a time of revolution years of turmoil in this maddening place It is in all senses archeology tenacious revelatory and humane Paul Theroux The Buried is the ind of book that you don t want to end and won t forget With the eye of a great storyteller Peter Hessler weaves together history reporting memoir and above all the lives of ordinary people in a beautiful and haunting portrait of Egypt and its revolution Ben Rhodes author of The World as It Is If you are interested in the Middle East than this book is a must read Five stars This is one of the most brilliant books I ve ever read It s so rich it s difficult to fully explain the scope and ambition on display Peter Hessler s account combines ancient Egypt the history of excavation the Arab Spring and multiple revolutions throughout the past 10 years in Egypt Egyptian language education and culture along with a host of personal stories about not just the people he met living in the country with his family but also Chinese entrepreneurs and a Jewish family forced to leave the country in the 1950s And everything is interwoven masterfully This book is incredible and I want to read not only everything else this author has written but I want to look up his wife s work as well I m excited about what to expect in the future from both of them I cannot expect in the future from both of them I cannot this book enough After sampling a few pages I was enticed by this BOTM choice than the other four available options Peter writes in a way that is easy to read the text flows smoothly through the pages always inviting the reader to stay along as typically happens with writers of The New Yorker By sharing his personal experiences Peter helped me understand what Egypt is in a day to day life and what the country was going through in Arab Spring The only downside of the book was that it was too long for someone who had never been as interested in Egypt It took me significant amount of determination to finish it though Peter s writing and Stories Helped Me Throughout helped me throughout process and along the way I picked up some nuggets of wisdom One of the lines that spoke to me isThe Americans think If everybody is like me they re less likely to attack me The Chinese don t think like that They don t try to make the world be like them Their strategy is to make economic linkages so if you break these economic linkages it s going to hurt you as much as it hurts them Pg 339 The Buried An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution by foreign correspondent Peter Hessler was a well researched and interesting account of not only the Arab Spring in Egypt but an extensive and fascinating history of Egypt one of the world s oldest civilizations This book was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award Peter Hessler skillfully weaves together a breathtaking memoir of the five years that he and his family spent in Cairo as the Egyptian Arab Spring was erupting in dramatic fashion on the world stage Hessler blends their life and experiences From the acclaimed author of River Town and Oracle Bones an intimate excavation of life in one of the world's oldest civilizations at a time of convulsive changeDrawn by a fascination with Egypt's rich history and culture Peter Hessler moved with his wife and twin daughters to Cairo in 2011 He wanted to learn Arabic explore Cairo's neighborhoods and visit the legendary archaeological digs of Upper Egypt After his years of covering China for The New Yorker friends warned him Egypt would be a much uieter place But not long before he arrived the Egyptian Arab Spring had begun and now the country was in chaosIn the midst of the revolution Hessler often traveled to digs at. ,


Ith the lives of ordinary Cairenes as he explores a side of the Middle East we would not otherwise now It is a hauntingly explores a side of the Middle East we would not otherwise now It is a hauntingly portrait of a place a people and a movement by a master storyteller But as time passed we realized that there was the Egypt inside and then there was the Egypt outside these things weren t necessarily the same The sense of being Egyptian ran so deep that it had little to do with the structures or the lack of structures of the actual country This was the one reason why the place felt so coherent and held together so well despite a remarkable lack of governanceSometimes I thought about the Yeats line Things fall apart the centre cannot hold Things hold together the centre doesn t matter In a country where systems and laws had always been weak there were other forces that ept the place from collapsing Why I love itby Siobhan JonesOne dusty afternoon in Austin Texas in the back of a friend s car I had one of those reading experiences that was so vivid I ll remember it forever In some tattered back issue of The New Yorker a magazine I rarely peruse I
Encountered A Writer Whose Storytelling 
a writer whose storytelling was so dazzling that I immediately tracked down one of his travel memoirs a genre I rarely dip into and devoured it in a few days That writer was Peter Hessler and dip into and devoured it in a few days That writer was Peter Hessler and then on I was a lifelong fanThis month Hessler is back with a new work of nonfiction about Egypt from Ancient Egypt to the Arab Spring Sounds weighty Oh and how This is a biography of a nation an introduction to archeology a work of sociology and a memoir all rolled into one In pursuit of his een interest in Egypt s history and culture Hessler and his family move to Egypt just as the 2011 revolution is begin A great book that taught me much about modern Egypt through Hessler s engaging mix of reporting personal stories Sayyid the garbage collector a favourite the friendship the intricacies of his job I love his curiosity open mindedness it s a pleasure to travel vicariously with him Post Arab Spring the politics are interesting then bleak The people have great imagination politeness and warmth But the country is poorly governed with harmful traditions for example 40% of Egyptians are married to a cousin inefficiency 6m public servants bribery and corruption and a lack of systems Most notable are the misogyny and poor education Hessler finds the segregation of sexes not just disrespectful to women and uncomfortable for a man who enjoys mixed company both socially and professionally but hurts the economy half of the workforce is missing This is highlighted by the Chinese lingerie sellers who do business efficiently with husband and wife side by side The shambolic elections lead Hessler to a disturbing realisation that an ordered authoritarianism such as China is better than a disordered one Really interesting highly recommended My thanks to Penguin Press for an advance copy of this bookHessler made his mark with several books about China where he lived in the late 90s as an English teacher and then from 2000 2007 as a correspondent They re getting to be a bit dated now but they re still some of the best books out there about modern China He moved to Egypt shortly after the 2011 revolution there and lived there for 5 years with this book as the resultThe same ualities which made his China books excellent are present here Hessler presents us with a handful of ordinary Egyptians a garbage collector an aging Arabic teacher a young gay man who wants to get out of Egypt whose personal lives and perspectives give us windows into many aspects of life in Egypt Some of it is expected the harassment experienced by the gay man for instance some of it is surprising and even outlandish such as when residents of a poor district of Cairo band together to. Amarna and Abydos where locals live beside the tombs of ings and courtiers a landscape that they call simply al Madfuna the Buried He and his wife set out to master Arabic striking up a friendship with their instructor a cynical political sophisticate They also befriended Peter's translator a gay man struggling to find happiness in Egypt's homophobic culture A different Snowbound Seduction kind of friendship was formed with the neighborhood garbage collector an illiterate but highly perceptive man named Sayyid whose access to the trash of Cairo would be its ownind of archaeological excavation Hessler also met a family of Chinese small business owners in the lingerie trade; their view The Buried An Archaeology of the Egyptian Revolution