AZAZEL YOUSSEF ZIEDAN PDF

Azazeel is a novel infused with history, theology, the desire for power, intellectualism, and an inner struggle for answers that means every reader can find a thread that will strike chords both sonorous and discordant. The self-narration follows a Coptic monk, Hypa — a self-given name in homage to the great female Alexandrian philosopher Hypatia — as he travels from Upper Egypt, to Alexandria and then Syria over a twenty year period. It is a story of a monk who permits his inner demon to manifest as Azazeel, of a man gifted in the medicinal arts, of a man who explicitly understands love yet struggles to reconcile his passionate affairs with Octavia and Martha. It is a time in Christianity dominated by the intellectual.

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Azazeel by Youssef Ziedan

Ostensibly the memoirs of a fifth-century doctor-monk named Hypa, whose scrolls bearing witness to a period of Christian turmoil are uncovered in , its depictions of an aggressive, pagan-purging Bishop Cyril offended some members of the Coptic Church so gravely that they filed lawsuits. Distance and secularity suggest most English-speaking readers are likely to approach the novel superbly translated by Jonathan Wright with slightly less baggage. And, in fact, for all the trouble caused by his expertly researched nods to the internecine struggles within the nascent church, Ziedan seems to be calling for harmony and understanding in religious thought. He merely underlines how ridiculous — and yet dangerous — squabbles between religious sects can be.

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Award-winning book from Youssef Ziedan gets translated into English

He is a university professor, a public lecturer, a columnist and a prolific author of more than 50 books. The study of Arabic and Islamic manuscripts has been his primary interest, and cataloguing, editing and publishing these manuscripts constitute the bulk of his work. He has worked as a consultant in the field of Arabic heritage preservation and conservation in a number of international institutions, including UNESCO , ESCWA and the Arab League , and has directed a number of projects aimed at the delimitation and preservation of Arabic manuscript heritage. Ziedan was born in Sohag, Egypt in He moved with his grandfather to Alexandria when he was still a child and was raised and taught in this Mediterranean metropolis. He joined the philosophy department at the University of Alexandria and graduated summa cum laude. His postgraduate studies focused on Sufism and its philosophical underpinnings.

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