If You’re in Cairo Today

Meet best-selling author Bilal Fadl (at the Zamalek Diwan), and have him sign your copy of best-selling A Chagrined Laugh. Tonight at 7 p.m.

Or, if you prefer, you can bring your copy of his Original Inhabitants of Egypt: Stories about the Genius of the Place, the Idiocy of the Rulers, and the Indifference of the People, although Baheyya says that particular book of Fadl’s falls flat.

Baheyya on Fadl:

Fadl is refreshingly honest about his “crossing over” to become part of the minority elite category, what he acidly calls The Inhabitants who Benefit from Egypt. He’s also frank about the irony that his embourgeoisement derives directly from his success at depicting the little people on screen. Fadl is now one of the most prominent screenwriters in Egypt, a trendsetter in the genre of ‘youth films’ and ‘shaabi films’, or rather, films featuring over-the-top, stereotypical lower class characters (with the outstanding exception of Wahed min al-Naas, 2006).

If you’re still not convinced, read a profile of Fadl from Egypt Today. You can read his satiric blog here. So far as I know, nothing of his has been translated into English.