Once home to the creme de la creme of Egyptian society, The Yacoubian Building is now past its prime.
Older residents cling to the faded glories and old-world charm of its past, while newer tenants busily prevent eager arrivals from usurping more space in a building that reflects 70 years of Egypt's social and political upheavals.
Structured as a series of intersecting vignettes, The Yacoubian Building follows Taha, the studious doorman's son; his first love, Busayna, who struggles to support her family; Zaki Bey el Dessouki, an elderly yet elegant lothario; Hatim Rasheed, the homosexual editor of a leading newspaper; rags-to riches millionaire and political aspirant Hagg Azzam; and the wheeler-dealer tailor Malak Khilla, among others, as they conspire, romance, suffer, and dream in the shadow of the historic edifice.
Bursting with life, The Yacoubian Building vividly provides a revealing glimpse into contemporary Egypt, where a cosmopolitan past clashes with a tumultuous present.
Alaa Al Aswaney studied to be a dentist and in fact had his first surgery in The Yakoubian building before turning his hand to writing and becoming a worldwide bestselling author.
The Yakoubian Building was made into a film in 2006.
He now lives in Chicago but has been commentating on and supporting the call for democracy in Egypt.A glimpse into modern Egypt, where a cosmopolitan past clashes with a tumultuous present.
As Zaki Bey's feud with his sister Dawlat escalates he contemplates the mess he's made of his life.
Newspaper editor Hatim has fallen in love with a young soldier and installed him in a room on the roof of the Yacoubian building.
The death of Abduh's son spells disaster and tragedy for love-struck Hatim.
Taha, son of the doorkeeper, is thrown into the arms of the Islamist Brotherhood after a bitter disappointment.
Taha's involvement with Muslim extremists bent on jihad takes him to a training camp outside of Cairo, where he will meet his destiny.
Local bigwig Hagg Azzam and owner of the shops on the ground floor of the Yacoubian building yearns for a second wife and a political career.
Haag Azzam has got what he wished for, but fails to anticipate the terrible consequences.
Busayna, the most beautiful young resident on the Yacoubian roof, finds employment with strings attached.
Busayna and Zaki are falling in love, much to her surprise...but Zaki's sister is not going to give up her vendetta.