Mahi Wasfy was born in Alexandria, Egypt and grew up in Cairo. She is an Early Childhood Educator. She earned her Masters in Science in Early Childhood Education Studies at Walden University, The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership in Minesota, USA. In the Heart of Cairo is her first fiction novel. In it she addresses the issues related to bias, diversity and equity prevalent in International schools and multicultural environments. She currently enjoys being a 'granny'/e-moderator in The School in the Cloud project, where she encourages children living in India to maximize their learning potential.
on July 26, 2016 :
In The Heart Of Cairo provides an interesting look at cultural struggles within present-day Egypt. Wasfy uses the microcosm of an International School to present opposing viewpoints and I was surprised that a people in a country with such an incredible history should suffer from such division of identity. Wasfy herself is obviously very much against the creeping Westernisation and Americanisation of Egypt and uses this novel to put across ideas for true biculturalism. Unfortunately this often takes a soapbox approach with characters frequently launching into deep and meaningful political speeches in what seemed to me to be inappropriate circumstances.
It takes several chapters for the novel to settle into its style and I was disappointed that most characters speak with Wasfy's voice so I never got a strong sense of anyone as a genuine individual. Speech often comes across as unnecessarily formal and unnatural. However I liked reading glimpses into both affluent and poor Egyptian life, especially the way in which people at both extremes of class treat each other with similar mistrust and disdain. Mrs Magda and Maha's storylines combine well and we are treated to a satisfying conclusion to our tale.
(reviewed 23 days after purchase)