by Naguib Mahfouz
Midaq Alley is probably Naguib Mahfouz’s most popular work; it was published in Cairo in 1947 and has often been reprinted. It has also been turned into two highly successful films: Zuqaq al-Middaqq in Egypt and El Callejon de los Milagros in Mexico.
This rich account of a back street in a poor quarter of Cairo centers around the life of a young girl who becomes a prostitute. Mahfouz gives us vivid images of all the pathos and joy that surrounded the lives of Hamida and the people – including such unforgettable characters as Kirsha, Sheikh Darwish, and Zaita the cripple-maker – who make Midaq Alley their home.