The world watched as Egyptians rose up together for the first time in history to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak. It could've been a gripping tale straight out of a movie, with communication blackouts, violent and bloody protests, police and army brutality, curfews, and fighter jet flybys. But for those living in Egypt this was real life. Living through it all was British author Dawn Bates and her family.
Walaahi is her epic account of living and working in Egypt during this unbelievable moment in history, kick-started by protests in Tunisia, which spread across the Arab world.
With deep honesty and openness, Dawn shares what life is really like in Egypt with its broken education system, sexual harassment by civilians and police thugs alike, dirty streets and corruption. This is life through the eyes of a white British Muslim who not only speaks Arabic, but understands the intricacies of the politics, Islamic faith, the food, and cultural nuances the world has never seen before.
Interwoven with the beauty of the country, the warmth and strong desire of the Egyptian people to better themselves and their country, Dawn takes us on an emotional ride through the paradoxes, wonderful aromas of delicious food, toothless grins and shining eyes, relaxing quiet moments of felucca rides along the Nile, and the chaos of the Khan el-lKhalili bazaar.
Discover the questions she asked herself as she walked away from Islam. And how cross-cultural love, when transferred to a different setting, truly impacts the children of mixed ethnicity and background.
Detailing the start of Mohamed Morsi's presidency in accurate detail, being followed by secret police, and appearing in the world's media in an attempt to get the facts across to those around the world, Dawn's bravery in the face of adversity shines through.
Highlighting how a sexual predator followed her and her children through the metro system, only to have the harassment dismissed as 'nothing to worry about', to celebrating the entrepreneurs driving change in a country best known for the Pyramids of Giza, the Sphinx, the Library of Alexandria and diving in The Red Sea and Sharm el-Sheik, this epic memoir packs into four years what many do not live through in a lifetime.
As many began to switch off from the horrific events, Dawn and her family continued to live through the curfews, home invasions and stories manipulated for inflated viewing figures.
Dawn writes with a refreshing and engaging voice as she describes this momentous time in history which saw the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi become president in the first democratic election in the country's history; before Human Rights Watch declared the Rabaa massacre the bloodiest massacre ever reported in one day.
Bates shares her heartbreak of seeing the Egypt she loves and the will of the people of Egypt destroyed before her eyes, only to see them rise up together again to rebuild stronger than ever, much like their Arab cousins in Lebanon after the Israeli bombings.
Navigating the vast cultural landscapes belly dancing amongst one another, watching Christians, Jews and Muslims live harmoniously together, what Dawn shares is enlightening.
We learn of the inadequacies in Egyptian schools, racism and prejudice faced by her and her children, and are left in awe at her fierce love, courage and strength as she takes on hatred and turns it into powerful action.
With a devastating blow at the end, this book is guaranteed to make readers stop and reflect on how they respond to events in their own lives and sets the record straight on untruths about Egypt many only know through resorts and all-inclusive holidays.
With brilliantly funny anecdotes, tear-jerk moments and a heart worn on her sleeve, Dawn Bates is the voice of humanity, cultural diversity and inclusion the world needs to hear from.