Powerful and powerless: If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English

Published by
Al-Araby

If an Egyptian Cannot Speak English starts with an epigram from an Instagram caption posted by Egyptian photographer Hana Gamal in 2016: “I am not what you think I am. You are what you think I am.” The statement connects identity and the existential sense of self with the reality of our external environment, which is usually beyond our control, and in author, Noor Naga’s chosen epigram, who we are is related specifically to the perception – and often judgment – of the person gazing back at us: the confusion and resentment of seeing a face that is both familiar and foreign. “As is often true in…

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