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Omar Robert Hamilton Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The City Always Wins (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Omar Robert Hamilton is an award winning writer and filmmaker based in New York, United Sates and Cairo, Egypt. He is known to have written for a number of literary magazines such as the Guardian, the Mada Masr, Guernica, and the London Book Reviews. Author Hamilton is particularly famous for writing his debut novel, The City Always Wins. He is the co-founder of the Palestine Literature Festival as well as Mosireen, which is a media collective from Cairo formed in the year 2011. In his first novel, author Hamilton has described the activist media collective members, who chronicle the aftermath of the uprising in Egypt. Initially, author Hamilton had started his career as an upcoming filmmaker in Washington. But, when the Egyptian revolution started in the year 2011, he decided to leave his career behind and head back to his home in Cairo. For his instant decision of catching the first flight to Egypt, author Hamilton says that he thought it was the moment that would go on to define the future years in Egypt. Four days after reaching Cairo, Hamilton came out on the streets to join the others in protest against the then president Hosni Mubarak. The 18 day uprising had resulted in the death of around 900 people and around 6,000 of them were injured. The protests did not stop even after the resignation of the president. Author Hamilton decided to use this historical event to develop his debut book. The powerful novel written by him begins 9 months after the Egyptian revolution in a morgue. He has described the chief characters in his book as Khalil and Mariam. Mariam is depicted as an activist, who tries to help the murdered protestors’ relatives. The corridors of the morgue get packed with so many dead bodies that Mariam misses the count. Everywhere there is grief and rage. People are seen crying for losing their dear ones. Panic and weeping people can be seen all around the morgue.

The way author Hamilton has given attention to the details of the harrowing scenes shows that he has developed the plot from his first hand experience. Author Hamilton admits to it by saying that some people have spent more time at the painful scene and he too was there for some time. The moment his plane landed in Cairo from New York, author Hamilton realized that the best way he could contribute to the revolution is by making use of his skills in film-making. He had a number of good friends and contacts all over Cairo. And in order to overcome the media organization put together by the government, author Hamilton decided to join his friend named Khalid Abdall in his idea of laying the foundation of the collective called Mosireen. It was actually an adaptation of The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. The initial mission of Hamilton and Khalid was to make documentaries of the revolution by creating archives of the testimony and reportage. This was a safety measure to make sure that the events were not denied later and victims could get justice. Later in 2013, author Hamilton took all the hard drives in which footages were stored by him and colleagues and moved to New York. There, he started sorting out the documentaries so as to merge them into a complete 2 hour documentary. However, it turned out that the idea of a prose looked far better than a film. Subsequently, after spending hours in the dark for the next couple of weeks, author Hamilton finally came up with an outstanding novel. The novel appears to be true in every sense and seems a story of many voices. This novel’s central consciousnesses are of Mariam and Khalil. Just like his character, author Hamilton also appears as a returnee child of his cosmopolitan family. However, he likes to mention that even though he appears to be in the story, his correspondences are not simple of direct. He seems split between his two main characters in one way or the other.

The debut novel written by Omar Robert Hamilton is entitled ‘The City Always Wins’. It was released by the MCD publication in the year 2017. This novel captures the experiences of the revolution in Egypt like no other news report or channel could. The novel looks like a description of the revolution’s front line. Author Hamilton has introduced the main characters in the story of this book as Khalil & Mariam. While getting deeply enmeshed in the Egyptian uprising of 2011 at the Tahrir Square, both of them move through the roiling political underground and the surging streets of Cairo. Their lives seem to be burning with a purpose. As their city becomes alive in the open revolt and the whole world watches them in such a state, the Egyptians seem to take a course into an uncertain and unknown future. Mariam & Khalil believe that they are fighting a different type of revolution. They think of themselves as more like players in a new epic under process. On the whole, the novel looks intensely lyrical, brutal, arrestingly visual, and uncompromisingly political. It not only describes the Egyptian revolution, but also an attempt of the global generation to bring about a change in the world. Overall, it seems intelligent, astonishing, and alternately saddening and inspiring.

This Arab Spring of Egypt covers the large currents and tides of the movement’s development and at the same time, it also paints a beautiful small narrative of a couple of young people, who get stuck in the wave. The narrative reflects and recounts on the tough relationship between democracy and revolution, governance and chaos, class and generational friction, and order and change. It also examines the force required to maintain the hope and stand up and raise a voice, as against the infliction of intimidation and fear to oppression and silence for security. Many critics believe that the prose is darker, louder, more brash urgent cousin to a number of other similar immigrant stories. The revolution is described as a pressing forward for justice and progress at a time when political landscape shifts beneath the feet. The novel also mentions how energy, emotion, and raw anger either get channeled into change, or get crushed and thwarted. Even though the revolution ideals and ideas of the book appear relevant and universal, the depictions look specifically Egyptian.

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