Tuesday, March 22, 2016


This is a graphic novel that was banned in Egypt in 2008, so only an English translation is available for purchase.  It's loosely about some poor people who decide to take their rights through violence and corruption in a violent and corrupt city.  They get a bit hurt in some demonstrations, and there is a love interest for the main character.  The copy of the book I received from Metropolitan Books (New York: Henry Holt and Co.) is very difficult to read.  It seems to have been photocopied or printed in gray scale.  It would be much better if the panels were in a stronger black and light.  The story in fairly interesting.  The title METRO reflects how the story is told from one part of the city to another.  I am giving this 3 stars because it was dangerous for El Shafee to create this novel and put his name to it.  As far as the actual story, it was written in 2007 before the Arab Spring, so it is very prophetic and gives a voice to the Egyptian people before Arab Spring, perhaps giving credence to the events that took place in 2011. It would be a great resource for classroom teachers to use if discussing events that led up to Cairo 2011.

El Shafee, Magdy. Metro: a Story of Cairo. Trans. by Chip Rossetti. New York: Metropolitan Books, 2012. 

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