Why this book?
I have to say that I do sometimes judge a book by its cover and this one blew me away. I could already tell it would be a fun account of women in 1920s Cairo. I loved learning about the positions in society these divas held at a time when women around the world were just starting to get some rights—maybe.
Why should I read it?
What is this book about?
One of the world's most multicultural cities, twentieth-century Cairo was a magnet for the ambitious and talented. During the 1920s and '30s, a vibrant music, theater, film, and cabaret scene flourished, defining what it meant to be a "modern" Egyptian. Women came to dominate the Egyptian entertainment industry-as stars of the stage and screen but also as impresarias, entrepreneurs, owners, and promoters of a new and strikingly modern entertainment industry.
Raphael Cormack unveils the rich histories of independent, enterprising women like vaudeville star Rose al-Youssef (who launched one of Cairo's most important newspapers); nightclub singer Mounira al-Mahdiyya (the first woman…