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The Yacoubian building - once grand, but now dilapidated - stands on one of Cairo's main boulevards. Taha, the doorman's son, has aspirations beyond the slum in the skies, and dreams of one day becoming a policeman. This work follows Taha's trajectory from innocence to tragedy.
Alaa Al Aswany was born in 1957. He is a dentist by profession, and for many years practiced in the Yacoubian Building which was to form the setting for his bestselling novel. He has written prolifically for Egyptian newspapers on politics, literature and social issues.