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الباب المفتوح

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  2,635 ratings  ·  433 reviews
رواية "الباب المفتوح" للكاتبة لطيفة الزيات والصادرة عام 1960 هي البداية الفعلية التي فتحت الطريق أمام الرواية الواقعية للكاتبات المصريات. وتعتبر لطيفة الزيات أحد أهم رواد التيار الواقعي في الرواية المصرية في الخمسينات من القرن العشرين. تعكس الرواية الفترة من 1946 إلى 1956 ومقاومة الشعب المصري للاستعمار الإنجليزي ومعركة بورسعيد، وتؤكد على أهمية الالتحام الشعبي والترابط بين ...more
Paperback, 356 pages
Published 2003 by الهيئة المصرية العامة للكتاب - مكتبة الأسرة - إبداع المرأة (first published 1960)
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Margitte
I don't know much of the literature, neither the history of the Egyptian struggle for independence from British rule, so I cannot really appreciate the impact this book must have had in the 1960s when it was published.

Was it controversial? Welcomed? Condemned? Inspiring? Probably all of it.

What I DO know, though, is that it was an excellent historical fictional literary experience for me as reader.

The patchwork of characters, family issues, politics, community and history presented a colorful p
...more
Claire
So glad this was brought back into publication, to give a view on a young woman's coming of age in Cairo, Egypt, the roller coaster of emotions she goes through as she hits that turbulent period of becoming aware of both the effect she has on a young man and what his proximity does to her. It is heightened by the fear of how she will be perceived, judged, which in their course cause her to suppress her feelings and turn inward, when really she wants to be able to express herself or explode.

It's
...more
Melanie
This is one of the most inspiring feminist classics of all time, as far as I'm concerned. As a historical novel, it transports us to a time when Cairo was part of the British empire, and Egyptians were ready for a change! The protagonist, a young woman, comes of age in this society. We accompany her through all her discoveries - her newfound nationalism and political consciousness, her developing sexuality and womanhood / feminist consciousness, and her search for a path all her own.

It is no coi
...more
Basma Ismael
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Jalilah

The Open Door was originally published in 1960. At the time it was considered very bold and a movie was made in 1963. It was re-issued in 2017 in translated in English by Marilyn Booth.

Exactly as the cover description says, it "explores a young Egyptian girl's coming of sexual and political age, in the context of the Egyptian nationalist movement preceding the 1952 revolution. The novel traces the pressures on young women and young men of that time and class as they seek to free themselves of f
...more
Samar
Sep 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: i-own
One of my absolute favorites, read it long time ago but still a favorite, sometimes I get so over excited abt a brilliant book written by a woman, it's inspirational and it makes me proud..

A MUST read...
...more
Yousra Hesham
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I've ever read!! luckily i haven't seen the movie yet which I'm sure made my experience even better, at some points i thought i was Laila, So much emotions and thoughts in one book, it's a great novel and i hate how it took me so long to consider reading it, just finished it and I'm thinking about reading it all over again.

this novel is simply great and worth reading, I had the chance to imagine the characters on my own cause i didn't watch the movie as i said which made it
...more
Sarah
Dec 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
It is a great book not only because of the story line which is very interesting, but also because of the smooth language by which the writer was able to describe the most intricate emotional complexes of the characters. Laila's journey to discover herself and her inner strength and her struggle to let go of tradition's chains that held her from being what she really is and from establishing her place in the world are inspiring. ...more
Mary Beth
Jan 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was assigned this book for an Egyptian history class in college. My professor eventually explained in great detail how the story explained Egyptian culture, life, etc. but I just liked the story. I should probably find my notes and read it again.
Lamis Hosny
Jan 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The movie is exceptional by all means!
Emanuela
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is about a young girl named Laila trying to come of age and grow into her own identity in a strict Egyptian household in the 60's. She is a romantic, a patriot and an intellectual in a time and culture where women could be none of those things. She's headstrong, opinionated and loves her country (despite all the men in her life being completely against it).

I need other English speaking teens to read it and talk to me about it because all the reviews on here are in arabic and I can't s
...more
Yasmina
May 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Many years ago, I have seen the movie featuring Fatin Hamama and the handsome Saleh Seleem and I remember loving it so much. Until yesterday, I had no idea it was based on a book! I was thrilled to find that out. Though I barely remember the movie, I remember how it made me feel.

Now, 80 pages through this captivating novel; I think to myself: “Where has this been all my life? Why is it not so popular? Why have I never seen it on any of the ‘Major’ Bookstore shelves! Or even on the makeshift pav
...more
Mariam
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Every Egyptian lady
Every Egyptian lady should read this book. I can't say enough how empowering it is. It so clearly depicts the life of Egyptian ladies in the mid 20th century and how some of them decided to take control of their own lives, while others decided to stick to traditions. Things might have changed since then, but the fight still persists. Some girls still choose to marry someone because of their social status, profession or family. Some girls still let the men in their lives control them. Some girls ...more
Sonja
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is an important book in the history of women’s literature in Arabic and therefore in all of our history. It’s the story of Layla growing up in Egypt during the struggle for the Suez Canal. Her coming of age and her path to coming into her own is depicted, with the richness of any girl who is being repressed, like girls all over the world. A courageous novel set in tumultuous times. After reading Marilyn Booth’s excellent afterword, I realize how much I missed as a non-Egyptian, priv ...more
Hafsa
Jun 05, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone interested in Arab literature
The Open Door was written in the 1960's and is one of the first Arab novels that features a female protagonist. The novel centers around Layla, an insecure young girl growing up in Cairo around the time of Egypt's independence from the British. As the novel progresses, we see the character of Layla undergo numerous transformations, mirroring those of Egypt--as both character and nation struggle to define itself. A simple, yet interesting read, as it gives us a historical account of modern Egypt ...more
Kia
landmark work of Arab feminist and anti-imperialist literature, fantastic translation by Marilyn Booth too, wishing i was better at Arabic so I could read the original and appreciate al-Zayyat’s novel use of the colloquial. one of my new favorites
Sarah
Apr 15, 2012 rated it liked it
It's a pretty simple coming-of-age tale of a young woman growing up in revolutionary Egypt. It's interesting and very readable, but quite cheesy and a bit too long.

I read it for school and liked it, but I wouldn't have necessarily read it on my own for fun.
...more
Kate
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliant work of a woman's journey towards a self fullfilling life. Her battles mirror Egyptians plight for revolution. ...more
Maii Pharouh
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
From the best i ever read !!
LOVE IT
Kristen
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Required reading for one of my classes, and I'm so glad it was. I couldn't put it down. The depth of Layla's emotions and internal struggles brought me to tears a number of times. ...more
Mariam
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I had ever read.
Lamiaa Essam
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really like it
Pansée Al-Abasiry
Another piece of art <3
Sophia
Nov 15, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
At nearly 400 pages, The Open Door isn’t a short, sharp read (indeed, it’s undeniably baggy in places), but nevertheless I really enjoyed it. When I taught it this week on an MA course, a student complained that it felt like a beach read - it wasn’t ‘serious’ enough for a discussion of gender (which was this week’s topic). But this was part of what I loved about it: it was unashamedly romantic and the main character was slightly naive and predictable. Yet the novel also committed itself wholehea ...more
Daria Gordina
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Fatima Ahmed
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is also available in English.

I cannot begin to write about how much I loved this book.

Reading this book, I finally found a character that I can very much relate to and realized how much I didn't know I was missing. This is only the third Arabic book I read, and it's most definitely my favorite now. I can't wait to reread this book at some point and live these events again.

I recommend this book with all my heart as all its aspects were truly wonderful. The language was beautiful, the
...more
Thomas Hale
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Powerful coming-of-age novel set against the backdrop of Egypt's struggle for independence. The protagonist Layla's own self-determination is constantly under threat from a deeply conservative society and cultural norms, and her fight for personal fulfilment is written to echo her nation's. Love, war, death, desperation, misery, and long conversations about dressmaking and the place of a woman in mid-20th-Century Egyptian society. Clearly this was a very important book, and even though the prose ...more
Sean
Al-Zayyat presents a thorough and compelling portrait of a young Egyptian woman struggling with te tension her own self and the demands imposed by her society. The moral seems to be that society's oppression and torture is effective because we coöperate. ...more
الكاتبة حداد
Apr 05, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: arabic-novels
I watched the movie
much better...
Sladjana Kovacevic
˩αтιғα 𐀁ℓ-Ƶαʏʏαт-Ƭнɛ σρɛи ∂σσя
"...from the very day on which every baby is born—boy or girl—the family has its plan already sketched out. And one has to follow through. If you do, you enjoy the love, affection, and accord of the family. But if you do not, thought Layla, if you contravene that design and violate the family’s principles, the family will strike you down"
📝𝓔𝔁𝓽𝓻𝓪-𝓣𝓱𝓪𝓷𝓴𝓼 𝓽𝓸 @sarah25samir 𝓽𝓱𝓲𝓼 𝓲𝓼 𝓶𝔂 𝓯𝓲𝓻𝓼𝓽,𝓫𝓾𝓽 𝓬𝓮𝓻𝓽𝓮𝓷𝓵𝔂 𝓷𝓸𝓽 𝓽𝓱𝓮 𝓵𝓪𝓼𝓽 𝓯𝓻𝓸𝓶 𝓔𝓰𝓲𝓹𝓽𝓲𝓪𝓷 𝓵𝓾𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓪𝓽𝓾𝓻𝓮
🎭𝓘𝓭𝓮𝓷𝓽𝓲𝓯𝓲𝓬𝓪𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷(𝓬𝓱𝓪𝓻𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓮𝓻𝓼)-𝓣𝓱𝓮𝔂
...more
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Middle East/North...: The Open Door by Latifa Zayyat 72 93 Apr 13, 2018 08:52AM  
.. 1 18 Jun 08, 2013 08:25AM  

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Latifa Zayyat (Arabic: لطيفة الزيات; variant English spelling: Latifa al-Zayyat) was an Egyptian feminist writer and academic.
As a student attending Cairo University in the 1940s, where she was part of left-wing and feminist movements on campus. She was later imprisoned for her political view (during the presidency of Anwar Sadat
Zayyat was Professor of English at Ain Shams University. She publish
...more

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“ثم ان الحب لا يستجدى. هو إما موجود أو غير موجود.” 438 likes
“عزيزتى ليلى

لم أكن أريد أن أستعمل كلمة "عزيزتى" بل أردتُ أن أستعمل كلمة أخرى، كلمة أقرب إلى الحقيقة وإلى شعورى نحوكِ ولكنّي خفتُ أن أخيفكِ وأنا أعرف أن من السهل إخافتك. من السهل بشكل مؤلم، مؤلم لي على الأقل.

وهذا أيضًا هو سبب ترددي فى الكتابة إليكِ ولكن حنيني الجارف إلى الوطن لم يترك لى الاختيار فقد أصبحتِ أنتِ رمزًا لكل ما أحبه في وطني وعندما أفكر فى مصر أفكر فيك وعندما أحن إلى مصر أحن إليكِ وبصراحة أنا لا أنقطع عن الحنين إلى مصر.

أكاد أراك تبتسمين، فأنت لا تصدقينى. أليس كذلك؟ أنتِ لا تثقين بي. أنت تقيمين بيني وبينك الحواجز، أنت لا تريدين أن تنطلقي وأن تتركي نفسكِ على سجيتها، لأنك تخشين أن تتعلقي بي، أن تفني كيانك في كياني، أن تستمدي ثقتك فى نفسك وفي الحياة مني، ثم تكتشفي كيانك مدلوقًا -كالقهوة- فى غرفتي.

وأنا أحبكِ وأريد منكِ أن تحبيني، ولكنّي لا أريد منكِ أن تفني كيانك فى كيانى ولا فى كيان أي إنسان. ولا أريد لك أن تستمدى ثقتك فى نفسك وفى الحياة مني أو من أي أنسان. أريد لك كيانك الخاص المستقل، والثقة التى تنبعث من النفس لا من الآخرين.
وإذ ذاك –عندما يتحقق لكِ هذا- لن يستطيع أحد أن يحطمك، لا أنا ولا أي مخلوق. إذ ذاك فقط، تستطيعين أن تلطمي من يلطمك وتستأنفى المسير. وإذ ذاك فقط تستطيعين أن تربطي كيانك بكيان الآخرين، فيزدهر كيانك وينمو ويتجدد، وإذ ذاك فقط تحققين السعادة فأنتِ تعيسة يا حبيبتي، وقد حاولتِ، ولم تستطيعي، أن تخفى عنى تعاستك.

لقد انحبست فى الدائرة التى ينحبس فيها أغلب أفراد طبقتنا، دائرة الأنا، دائرة التوجس والركود، دائرة الأصول، نفس الأصول التى جعلت عصام يخونك، وجعلت محمود يشعر بالعزلة فى معركة القناة. وجعلت طبقتنا، كطبقة، تقف طويلا موقف المتفرج من الحركة الوطنية، نفس الأصول التى تكرهينها وأكرها، ويكرها كل من يتطلع الى مستقبل أفضل لشعبنا ووطننا.

وفى دائرة الأنا، عشت تعيسة، لأنك فى أعماقك تؤمنين بالتحرر، بالانطلاق، بالفناء فى المجموع، بالحب، بالحياة الخصبة المتجددة.

عشت تعيسة لأن تيار الحياة فيك لم يمت بل بقى حيًا يصارع من أجل الانطلاق.
فلا تنحبسى فى الدائرة الضيقة، إنها ستضيق عليك حتى تخنقك أو تحولك إلى مخلوقة بليدة معدومة الحس والتفكير.
انطلقي يا حبيبتي، صِلِي كيانك بالآخرين، بالملايين من الآخرين، بالأرض الطيبة أرضنا، بالشعب الطيب شعبنا.

وستجدين حبًا، أكبر منِّى ومنكِ، حبًا كبيرًا، حبًا جميلًا، حبًا لا يستطيع أحد أن يسلبك إياه، حبًا تجدين دائمًا صداه يتردد فى الأذن، وينعكس فى القلب، ويكبر به الإنسان ويشتد: حب الوطن وحب الشعب.

فانطلقي يا حبيبتي، افتحى الباب عريضًا على مصراعيه، واتركيه مفتوحًا..
وفى الطريق المفتوح ستجدينني يا حبيبتي، أنتظرك، لأنى أثق بك، وأثق في قدرتك على الانطلاق، ولأنى لا أملك سوى الانتظار ..انتظارك.”
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