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Cairo

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3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  1,296 ratings  ·  211 reviews
A stolen hookah, a spiritual underworld, and a genie on the run change the lives of five strangers forever in this modern fable set on the streets of the Middle East's largest metropolis.

Cairo interweaves the fates of a drug runner, a down-on-his-luck journalist, an American expatriate, a troubled young student, and an Israeli soldier as they race through bustling present-
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Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 7th 2007 by Vertigo
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A cool graphic novel involving an unlikely cast of characters: an Israeli soldier, an Egyptian hash smuggler, a couple of American students, one of whom is a wannabe suicide bomber of Lebanese descent, a wannabe revolutionary journalist, and a jinn brought together by the rather unlikely circumstance of the theft of a hookah in which it just so happens the jinn is imprisoned. This framework allows the story to explore the politics of the Middle East, the age-old theme of good versus evil, and th ...more
notyourmonkey
This. This. This is what graphic novels are for. Augh. I want to read more stuff like this immediately.

A hashish dealer, a wannabe revolutionary journalist, an Israeli soldier, a wannabe suicide bomber, and a wannabe something/anything from the O.C. get drawn into a conflict between a gangster and a djinn in, you guessed it, Cairo. There's interesting, nuanced things said about politics, about religion, about history, about class, about gender (sorta), about, well, everything you think should p
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Shannon (Giraffe Days)
"So today, I hit one of those stoned camels with my truck." So beings Ashraf's story to his mother, sitting by her grave with a cigarette in one hand and a hookah by his side. Ashraf is a drug dealer, running hashish into Israel, and hitting that camel nearly gets him killed by border guards. That's just the beginning of his wild and wonderful tale. Leaving the cemetery, he heads for a cafe where his good friend Ali is having tea with Ashraf's sister, Salma. While a young female Israeli soldier ...more
new_user
As a brief crash course into the thoughts and feelings of Egyptians, Americans, and Israelis, Cairo certainly goes a long ways. Though the book is too short to develop these characters fully or delve in depth into these themes (e.g. Egyptian govt. and journalism, Israel, suicide bombings, feelings toward Americans, and Orientalism), the novel is a good introduction to a more genuine look at the region that encourages Middle-Easterners to speak about the reality and for others to listen with huma ...more
Michael
Review from Badelynge.
Cairo begins with a hashish smuggler called Ashraf sitting at his mother's grave as he relates to her how his day went.
"So today I hit one of those stoned camels with my truck."
He tells her the Bedouin have fields of marijuana out in Sinai. The camels graze on the stuff. He tells her about the Israeli border guards who nearly catch him smuggling hash hidden inside bulbs of Smelly Beet. He tells her not to worry, that's just life in the City Victorious. It's a deft and assur
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مصطفي سليمان
الشخصيات الاساسية

نار - شمس- شهيد - أشرف - كايت-توفا-علي-سلمي

قصة مصورة عن القاهرة من وجهة نظر المؤلفة
طبعا الجمال منتشرة
واللبس القديم من حيث الطربوش
وملابس المرأة القديمة اليشمك والحاجات دي موجوده مع ان الاحداث كلها جديدة

راوية مصورة فانتازيا تماما
أشرف تاجر الحشيش اللي بيسرق الشيشه اللي فيها جني اسمه شمس
وهو جني طيب
كان بيحاول واحد اسمه نار وهو شرير ان يجعله يعرف سر الصندوق لكي يسيطر علي العالم
أشرف مكنش يعرف ان الشيشة فيها جني ف باعاها لواحد نصه لبناني اسمه شهيد
كان جي مصر وناوي يروح فلسطين يعمل عملية
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Jen
Two American teenagers meet on a plane ride into Cairo and end up getting mixed up in an adventure with magical hookahs, a djinni, a drug smuggler, a journalist, and an evil mastermind. I have always loved the mystical fairy-tale elements of the Arab world, and this has all of that combined with a real modern focus. The author addresses the ever-present tension between the Hebrew and Arab communities, modern-day terrorism, hard-core journalism, etc. At it's heart, though, the story is a look at ...more
Sara
I picked this up at the library on a whim and because I liked the cover. The illustrations didn't let me down at all; throughout they are vividly expressive. I thought the illustrator did a great job capturing nuances of speech and habit for each character.
The story itself-- well, I really wanted to give it five stars, but it's not quite there. It reminded me of Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series in that there was a compelling and potentially powerful interweaving of myth, religion, culture, and hi
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Steve
Cairo is written, in many ways, as a loving tribute to the eponymous city itself. Set in the Egyptian capital, the book follows a group of characters from a myriad of nationalities and social backgrounds—including an Israeli soldier, an Egyptian journalist, a drug-runner, a suicide bomber, and an American student—brought together by the rather unlikely circumstance of the theft of a hookah in which it just so happens a "genie" is imprisoned. This framework allows the story to explore the politic ...more
Nadine
G. Willow Wilson nimmt den Leser mit auf ihre persönliche Reise in ein unbekanntes Land, eine fremde Kultur und eine Religion, von der man viel hört, aber wenig weiß.

Nachdem sie während des Studiums zum Islam konvertierte, möchte sie nun für einige Zeit in einem muslimischen Land leben, ohne wie im Amerika nach dem 11. September 2001 wegen ihrer Religion auf Unverständnis und Ablehnung zu stossen. Sie geht nach Kairo um an einer amerikanischen Schule als Lehrerin zu arbeiten und lernt dort den
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Jerzy
Beautifully drawn, good story, many good lines.

"Destiny and choice are the same thing. You chose to be here, so it couldn't have happened any other way."

"Holy books change depending on who reads them."

"Your boundaries are your quest."
(this last one is from Rumi)
Malak Aly
It's been a while since I devoured a book in 2 hours =)
The graphic novel is a brilliant blend of Egyptian culture and American action. It has a lot of wisdom and depth for an action story about drugs and guns and kidnapping. You'd also be surprised by the amount of proper Islamic impression in which its words are soaked although the writer and crew are all non-Arabs and - I assume- even non-Muslims!
Of course, though, I've taken off a star because mixing up belief with myth & belief with op
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Nicholas
I'm not really adept at reading comics. I don't have a vocabulary and a body of experience to judge and compare work.

I can say that I REALLY LIKED THIS ONE. Much more so than I expected. I keep expecting Wilson to write like the Mary Sue characters she puts in her stories: idealistic but naive American who comes to save the world but ends up annoying those she is supposed to save.

She gives us much more than this. She opens up worlds of contradiction, compassion, and humanity laid bare against t
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Ken
I read Cairo, at around 2am in the morning in hopes to make me fall asleep as I read through. To my surprise, I wasn't able to drop the book all thanks to it's engaging story telling. From start to finish, Cairo never had a dull moment. Cairo starts off with one of its protagonist, Ashraf, seemingly talking to the readers, sort of breaking the fourth wall. He proceeds and tell "Today I hit one of those stoned camels with my truck". The next panel shows exactly this and Ashraf was being literal w ...more
Daryl
I had no expectations for this one going in. The book starts out pretty fascinating, switching between stories of Israeli soldiers in Egypt, American tourists, and Egyptian journalists being kidnapped. It all seemed realistic, this image helped by the very detailed black-and-white art. M.K. Perker's art matches the story well, with its extensive backgrounds. Unfortunately, some of the figure work is a little off; throughout the book, everyone's head looked just a little bit too big. About 30 pag ...more
Philip
3.5

Cairo was a pretty decent graphic novel. I loved the illustrations, though they were more comic-book-esque rather than what has become the "graphic novel..." Granted, many people refuse to see the difference anyway.

The book pulls from Arabic, Muslim, and Jewish traditions, and mythology touching on some political conflict as well.

Overall: a fast, fun read.
alana
I'd seen this book at my local library, but only decided to pick it up after reading G. Willow Wilson's Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal.

Cairo follows two young Americans who arrive in Cairo and are quickly swept up in a supernatural underworld populated by genies, demons, hash dealers, and Israeli soldiers. The story was surprisingly violent but wrapped into a feel good-ish package. The use of Arabic expressions as well as unfamiliar mythology made it hard for me to get on board. The fast pacing
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Elizabeth
I picked up Cairo mainly because I was curious about the author: my best friend had read Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal & The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and Islam and I had heard a few interviews with Wilson herself about various topics. I was pleasantly surprised by Wilson's interweaving stories about 6 strangers drawn together in Cairo & how their actions change the city around them.

Shaheed, a disaffected Muslim-American boy, meets Shams, a jinn, after hi
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Tina
Part Egyptian fairytale and part adventure, this graphic novel is something special. I loved the way that the mythology looped into the plot of the story. There are magicians, a Jinn, and even the Undernile--and all of it feels like part of the landscape. This story might smack of sentiment, but it is never clichéd. That is what makes it wonderful.
I particularly appreciated the unlikely partnership between the "naïve American" and the "disillusioned reporter." Those are two tropes that are seen
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Matt Buchholz
Apr 27, 2008 Matt Buchholz rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: dark skinned children that can't deal with the fact that superheros don't look like them.
Shelves: comics-read
Art that's about 2 drafts away from being final and writing that's embarrassing in how much it tries to take on with so little effort. Reads like lazy Neil Gaiman coat-tail riding.
Andrea
Immensely enjoyable, and with an enviable complexity of character and politics that makes this a really interesting view of the Middle East from a stranger and convert to Islam...
Skye Kilaen
Written by G. Willow Wilson (the gal who's writing the new Ms. Marvel, hurray!), with art by M.K. Perker and letters by Travis Lanham.

Cairo is set in modern Egypt, as you may have guessed from the book's title, with all its political tensions and rich history. Combine a drug smuggler, an Israeli soldier, an American wannabe journalist, a teenager with some bad ideas, and a real jinn, and you have a very interesting story full of people trying to figure out right from wrong, and their relationshi
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Raina
Six individuals arrive in Cairo. A lamp and a crime lord ensure that they will not leave the same.

I found this quite engaging at first, but once some of the (view spoiler) content hit, it lost me a bit. (view spoiler)

The interplay between the characters was the most interesting part for me, although I never felt like I really GOT TO KNOW any of them. Which, I suspect, will make this relatively forg
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Phoebe
"Cairo" intrigued me because I know next to nothing about this culture, and the purported intersection of feckless travelers, drug dealers, magical elements, military, and underworld types seemed wholly original. This is a "reach" book, I think. Characters are moderately developed, the story meanders but then jerks itself back on track, and the art wavers between interesting/charming and clunky. I'm glad to have read it, gaining just a tiny bit more insight into North Africa and the Middle East, ...more
Forrest
Cairo is, in many ways, a prototype for G. Willow Wilson’s later novel, Alif the Unseen. They are stories of clashing cultures. Both the complex internal clash between Islamic hardliners and the culturally diverse youth of the Middle East, and the more external, if no less complex conflict between encroaching western culture and the entrenched lifestyles of Muslims. By necessity, Cairo is more spare, crashing through a much simpler plot at breakneck pace, but it manages to hit the same powerful ...more
Shaun
This is a multi-layered story in which characters from variety of backgrounds come together under a common cause. And as such, the story is a little preachy, but not enough so to wreck my enjoyment of the story. As a matter of fact, if more works in fiction were preachy about coming together in spite of everyone's differences, I'll bet the world would be all around better off. The art's solid, but doesn't push any boundaries, which is a little disappointing given the fantastical nature of the ta ...more
Fredrik Strömberg
So, this was a pleasant experience. The art is a bit too realistic for me, done in the American semi-alternative tradition of Vertigo, which, since they published it, is not so surprising I guess… Anyway, the story is interesting with its combination of East and West, of realism and fantasy, of literal and allegorical story elements. Wilson is an interesting storyteller, seemingly in tune with the subject matter of the Arab/Islamic world.

What keeps this from getting another star in my ranking is
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Jasmine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Marjorie Thelen
I have not read a comic book since I was a kid but know that graphic novels are very popular now. I wanted to read this one because I heard Willow Wilson, the young American woman, who wrote the superb memoir, The Butterfly Mosque, about her life in Egypt and conversion to Islam, interviewed on WellreadTV.com. The graphic novel was recommended as well as the memoir. I found the story line in Cairo difficult to follow because it was complex and filled with a few too many jinns and genies for my t ...more
Seana
I seem to be in the mood to read graphic novels during the quieter moments at the information desk right now. For me at least, they seem to be easier to get involved in and yet not get so engrossed that I become unaware of my surroundings.

This one was on our Egypt display, which has been expanded to be our Middle East display. We keep it in our young adult graphic novel section, although the amount of adult topics and profanity make it seem more a mainstream adult story to me.

Events may have o
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