Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller


In 2002, with her sister, Hind, and their friend, Nihal, Nadia Wassef founded Diwan, a fiercely independent bookstore. They were three young women with no business degrees, no formal training, and nothing to lose. At the time, nothing like Diwan existed in Egypt. Culture was languishing under government mismanagement, and books were considered a luxury, not a necessity. Ten years later, Diwan had become a rousing success, with ten locations, 150 employees, and a fervent fan base. Frank, fresh, and very funny, Nadia Wassef’s memoir tells the story of this journey.

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