Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Cairo” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.77  ·  Rating details ·  1,941 Ratings  ·  299 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-
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published November 7th 2007 by Vertigo
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Cairo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Cairo

Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Complete Persepolis by Marjane SatrapiPreludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
Best Graphic Novels
2,613 books — 6,030 voters
If I Should Speak by Umm ZakiyyahA Voice by Umm ZakiyyahThe Dirty Version by Medina FarisPainted Hands by Jennifer ZobairBoy vs. Girl by Na'ima B. Robert
Islamic Fiction
90 books — 86 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
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
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics
This was an interesting story. Rather fun. But most importantly- it is a unique and original story. I respect that.

It's the story of an Egyptian drug dealer, a depressed Egyptian journalist, a troubled young Lebanese-American student, an American girl from California, a female Israeli soldier and a Jinn trapped in a hookah are part of this motley cast of characters that all converge on the city of Cairo.

This is an interesting tale. I enjoyed the intersection of events and the whole Islamic take
Feb 14, 2015 rated it liked it
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
Afro Madonna
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
THIS WAS SO GOOD OMG. It had the just the right amount of humor, action, depth, plot, and fantasy ! All the important characters were absolutely lovable and the pace of the story was really good as well. This is the second graphic novel of G. Willow Wilson's alongside Ms. Marvel that I have read and I must say she does know how to spin a good story.
All in all, i really enjoyed this and i recommend this to anyone looking for a light and fun read .
Stewart Tame
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was over the top, but in a fun way. The cast is fairly sizeable. There's Ashraf, an admitted smuggler, but charming in that loveable rogue sort of way. He’s very protective of his sister, Salma, a dancer. She's in love with Ali, a reporter who keeps running afoul of the censors. There's also Kate, an American woman in search of a change of pace from Orange County. On the plane to Cairo she meets Shaheed, a Lebanese American on his way to Beirut to visit family. And there's Tova, from Israel ...more
Liz Janet
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
We have quite a fun story, in present-day Cairo, while not all characters are precisely from there. We have a drug runner, an Israeli soldier, a journalist, an American expatriate, and a student, as they try to find a hookah where a jinni lives.

Many categorize the book as magical realism, most likely due to the acceptance of jinni in the middle of Cairo, and it makes the story seem so much more adequate for the place it is set in. It is a story, not just about the characters and what they endur
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novel
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
Skye Kilaen
Set in modern Egypt, with all its political tensions and a heavy dose of the mythological. It brings together a reform-minded Egyptian journalist, his friend and maybe future brother-in-law who's a drug runner, an Israeli soldier who needs to get back home, an idealistic but ignorant American wannabe reporter, a Lebanese-American teenager who's headed down a path of violence, and a jinn. Threats from a sorcerer set these six characters on a race through Cairo and its spiritual counterpart, the U ...more
Jonathan Maas
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Egyptians, Americans and an Israeli all join forces to fight the underworld

Great tale from G. Willow Wilson, great art from M.K. Perker. The Middle East might have a few problems nowadays, but the characters come together to fight creatures from the Undernile. I recommend it!
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
Alaa  A
Oct 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
روايه مصوره عن احداث تدور في القاهره كميه الابداع من القصه و الرسم كانت مبهره جدا

احداث القصه تدور عن "كيت و شهيد" شابان يلتقيان في طائره متجه الى القاهره
من امريكا

كيت تريد ان تعيش مغامره و تخرج عن حودد الحياه السطحيه السهله و ان تحدث تغير في منطقه الشرق الاوسط

شهيد يريد ان يصل الى لبنان و ان يجتمع بجذوره العربيه كما يزعم و من خلال الاحداث نعرف حقيقه سب الزياره

و ترتبط الاحداث لتجمعهما مره اخري عن طريق مهرب مخدرات و شيشه مسروقه في داخلها جني يدعى شمس .. و محاوله الجني للدفاع عن صندوق يحتوي قدره
Elizabeth A
May 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, graphix
Book blurb: 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.

If that does not suck you in, how about the first line: "So, today I hit one of those stoned camels with my truck." Move over Dickens. This might just be the best first line ever.

This graphic novel is beautifully illustrated, has a really good story, and has some of the most creative curses I've ever
Dov Zeller
Jan 22, 2016 rated it liked it
This is a fun, interesting romp through a city that is so accustomed to chaos, gangsters, murder and magic, none of the above seem to fluster anyone inside of the world of "Cairo" for more than a moment.

This is action packed with an interesting, diverse cast of characters, but they all can seem a bit overly symbolic and caricaturist and the novel feel a bit more like a lecture at times than a story. Still, the art is great, the story is good, the premise is fairly engaging.

I also have Ms. Marve
May 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: çizgi-roman
Mitolojik öyküleri sevenler Kahire'yi de sevebilir. Ama Perker'in çizgileri öykünün önünde benim için.
Mar 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
What do you get when you mix a hash smuggler, a lost Israeli soldier, a Cairene journalist, a Lebanese-American with secrets, an idealistic California Girl, and a jinn? A bananas graphic novel about choice and sacrifice. I was a little worried going in that I wouldn’t like it because I like Ms Marvel too much, but this has the same quippy, dry humor only more violence and magic. Good art, but I wish it had been in color.

Picked this up during GWW’s signing when she was in town this year.
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
Malak Aly
Apr 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: mature teens on up
This was so, so good! Epic struggles between good and evil, love and fear, chance and choice. Great storytelling and rich, complex, memorable characters. Also, finding the commonalities and universalities in humanity and in religions/cultures/worldviews while being sympathetic and humanizing to all. Sigh! The perfect book to nudge me out of my reading slump!
Tanvir Muntasim
Aug 18, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Willow Wilson, who will go on to create the first Muslim super hero in the Marvel comics universe and win World Fantasy Award for a novel, made her graphic novel debut with this entertaining fantasy adventure. With a deft mix of ancient Middle Eastern mythologies and some commentary on the modern day conflict, she has created something tastefully steeped in the Arab culture, while mostly steering away from the Orientalist pitfalls. Great fun and a quick read.
Katie Florida
Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wow. That was fantastic.
Iman Furbee
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book that had a deeper meaning.
Donald Armfield
Apr 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Damn black & white comics. Although this one I enjoyed. Learned a few things in my hunt for research of The Jinn.
Zana Fauzi
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
GO AWAY! This is really good - I am still recovering and digesting a lot of things but I'm glad I picked this up today. SO SO GOOD
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Engrossing tale, a late night read I couldn't put down.
Sep 03, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: comics
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
Jul 11, 2010 rated it it was ok
We have an international program at the college where I work, and the person in charge of the program has been ordering graphic novels set in foreign countries, like Persepolis, in an effort to make it easier for students to learn about foreign cultures. When I saw this title, and saw that it was published by Vertigo and featured, among other things, a flying prayer carpet (no kidding), I figured he must have ordered this one by mistake. Since I like Vertigo, and hadn’t read a graphic novel in a ...more
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
Jan 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2018
Before G. Willow Wilson really made waves with Ms. Marvel, she burst onto the graphic novel scene with Cairo, a fast-paced adventure revolving around a jinn in a hookah (she would explore jinns more fully in Alif the Unseen , which in retrospect does feel like a natural follow-up to Cairo). Wilson spends a few pages quickly establishing the central characters—here I'll cheat and use the back cover copy to describe them as a drug runner, a down-on-his-luck journalist, an American expatriate, a t ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Madison Mega-Mara...: Book #42: Cairo by G. Willow Wilson 1 2 Apr 24, 2013 03:36PM  
  • Bayou, Vol. 1
  • Incognegro
  • The New Deal
  • Life Sucks
  • Crossing Midnight, Vol. 2: A Map of Midnight
  • Jack of Fables, Vol. 3: The Bad Prince (Jack of Fables, #3)
  • Zahra's Paradise
  • Daisy Kutter: The Last Train
  • Unknown Soldier, Vol. 1: Haunted House
  • The Escapists
  • Silverfish
  • The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam: An Illustrated Memoir
  • Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde: The Selfish Giant/The Star Child
  • Templar
  • Janes in Love (Janes, #2)
  • Echo, Volume 1: Moon Lake
  • The Sword, Vol. 1: Fire
  • Castle Waiting, Vol. 2 (Castle Waiting Omnibus Collection #2)
Hugo Award-winning writer of comics and novels including MS MARVEL and ALIF THE UNSEEN.
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Destiny and choice are the same thing. You chose to be here, so it couldn't have happened any other way.” 2 likes
“I'm learning that holy books change depending on who reads them. There's a lot of stuff I thought was black and white that isn't.” 0 likes
More quotes…