One of the most amazing Books, i have read, Moon Over Samarqand (Qamar 3ala Samarqand), by Egyptian Novelist Mohammed Mansi Qandil.
The 560 pages it holds takes the reader throught a trip of adventures, and coincidences that deeply discuss the power struggle in Both the Arab world, and Central Asia, it talks about Politics, Culture, Sex, Religion, and Demography, it also takes the reader throught the journeys of the lands of Uzbekistan, and its history and development, from a back warded tribal country, into a modern country trying to cope both its Islamic, Turkic culture, with the Russian Influence, and western Influence.
A journey through Central Asia and beyond, Moon over Samarqand is the story of one Egyptian’s quest for the truth. Seeking explanations to his troubled past through a long-lost friend in Samarqand, Ali’s travel brings him into encounters with the Uzbekistan of today, yesterday, and once upon a time. His tale embraces many tales—those of his confounding taxi driver, of Islamic activists, and of the criminal underworld, as well as stories of struggles against authoritarianism in Egypt. Woven among these are legendary tales of gypsies, khans, and madmen, of magic, treasure, and love. Drawing parallels between Uzbekistan of the Turks and Egypt of the Arabs and Pharoes, the novel shows diverse historical and modern connections between Central Asia and the Arab world. Painting a vivid portrayal of idealistic visionaries and brutal regimes, the novel explores power struggles between opposition currents and governments since the Uzbeki Soviet era and Egypt’s Nasser period.
The Book is available in Dar Al-Shorouk for Arabic, Diwan, and Virgin Megastores in City Stars Cairo, for English.
i personally recommend the readers to read it in Arabic, as its the original language of the writer.
Remarks: What i Hated most about the book is that it does NOT give you the ability to visualize the characters in the beginning, it gives you hints of how the character may look, which makes you use that part of our brains that we rarely use, the Imagination part...
The book is a very good book to read to know more about the history of this region, that is connected the Arab World, Europe, and Persia on one side, with China, Japan, and Mongolia on another.