An Egyptian protester waves his national flag at sunset during a demonstration in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on June 5, 2012 to protest against verdicts handed down in ex-president Hosni Mubarak's murder trial. (AFP/GettyImages)
by Hosam Aboul-Ela
Jun 14, 2012 — To many, life in North Africa has long seemed dominated by dictatorships. Hosam Aboul-Ela shatters this portrait with three books that display a vibrant society present despite extreme oppression. Has a book ever changed your conception of a region or culture? Tell us in the comments.
The area from Carthage to Cairo has commanded the world's attention. Since the Arab Spring last year, it has been filled with protesters, journalists, rebels, and change. It would be hard to put together a reading list for this area without thinking of politics, but writing from the region often surprises us — it suggests the variety and vitality of social life. Here are three books that show why this long-time locale of dictators has suddenly become one of hope.
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