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Saturday, December 8, 2012

0 Book Review: Cairo: The Mother of the World by Herbert L. Smith

Title: Cairo: The Mother of the World
Author: Herbert L. Smith
GenreTravel Narrative
Date Published: 2008


Book Summary: 
Cairo: The Mother Of The World explores the heart of a city that most tourists never see – an affectionate, humorous close-up of the aggregation that is Cairo, as well as an adventure among the streets, tombs, houses, and monuments that are the city yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Many have said that Cairo doesn’t change, but it does; sometimes very slowly, with a foot in the past and the other stepping toward the future.  At another time, it may explode with a sudden transformation that boggles the mind, as in the revolution of 2011-2012. Among all the confusion and noise and sand, it is still the same Cairo that many expatriates have come to love.
For anyone who has longed to visit Cairo, but has not had opportunity or felt a tour was risky at this time, this little book provides an intimate glimpse into the city that is largely unchanged, even after the revolution, and is moving forward, bit by bit, into a better tomorrow.
Love it with us as we walk among the people of Cairo and share the joy and tumult of the life that only the true Cairene is capable of appreciating in the midst of the gigantic jumble we call home.  It will be an unexpected treat.

About Author:

It has been my good fortune to live and work in schools and universities around the world. I
started teaching in the California State University system more than thirty years ago, after a time
working in secondary schools, went on to Egypt and the Middle East, and finally to Argentina. It
has been a fascinating series of events, from one adventure to another, and I loved nearly every
minute of it. (A few of the minutes were not quite so lovable for various reasons.)

Life as an expat lecturer and instructor led me into some unique and sometimes difficult

situations, but my appraisal of the whole was one of amazement that I was able to get to so
many wonderful places and enjoy the life of the people there. I taught English courses to
students who had already developed skills in the language and was always happy to tell them
about life in the U.S., as well as my appreciation of the life I led in their home countries. I would
gladly do it all again with only slight changes here and there.

A sustaining hobby throughout my life is music. I am a pianist, organist and composer with

many years of experience in church music. I found that wherever I went in the world, with the
exception of Argentina, I was almost immediately working with a church, playing the services
(usually on Fridays in the Middle East) regularly. Music is one of my fondest dreams as well as
a ‘forever’ joy.

I now live in Oregon with my wife of fifty years, Glenda, and we love the beauties that surround

us here. I will never tire of reliving the past, of course, either in writing or actually traveling, and
any time I have an opportunity to return to Cairo or Doha or La Rioja, I am excited to go again.


Herbert L. Smith did a fabulous job with this book. It's a wonderfully written novel where Mr. Smith's descriptions make you feel like you are right there. This is a nice quick read about the author's real life experiences while living in the city. A must read for everyone that would love to know about the overlooked parts of the city. The writing in this book is simple and to the point but descriptive enough to make you feel like you are really there. Having never been to this part of the world before, this book gives the perfect impression of what it would really be like.


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