British-born author living in Cairo offers an enthralling insight into life in Egypt at the height of the revolution, as the force of the Arab Spring takes hold, in this elegant and revealing memoir.
As the promise of change began to stir in the hearts and minds of Egyptians as they united against their then President, Hosni Mubarak, in January 2011, Rosemary Sabet was blogging feverishly, recording the events of the first eighteen days of the uprising. Connected to a worldwide audience, she was able to convey the realities of life in the eye of the storm of revolution, using her unique perspective as a British woman who had grown to love Egypt dearly during the four decades she had made it her home. She was witnessing the consequences of Western principles of freedom and democracy as they clashed violently with the old guard of state control. Sabet felt moved to combine her profound account of the Arab Spring with her own memoir, bringing Egyptian past, present and future keenly into focus through her own experiences, writing from the first day of revolution up until its somewhat ambivalent anniversary, one year on.
In From Trafalgar to Tahrir a nostalgic Sabet oscillates between memories of her early, care-free childhood in post-war London and her own involvement in the Egyptian revolution. She reveals her first trips abroad as a young woman in the 1950s; the bohemian spirit that brought with it its own revolution in 1960s London; her journey to Rome where she would enjoy her own dolce vita, meeting and marrying her Egyptian husband. Their love of travel and cultural exchange takes them to Southern Yemen, where Sabet begins to encounter the challenges that plague the Middle East to this day. Her propulsion through almost forty years of turbulent Egyptian history has exposed her to periods of great fear and disappointment, combined with moments of courage and triumph.
Sabet’s colourful anecdotes bring her story, together with that of her adopted homeland, vividly to life. From Trafalgar to Tahrir is a memoir of passionate substance; Rosemary Sabet’s unique perspective on recent cultural, political and social events transport her readers directly to Tahrir Square, as we feel the heat of revolution through her powerful experiences.