Books and Movies That Will Transport You Straight to Egypt

Famous 16 Books & Movies That Narrate Egypt History

Egypt has been mentioned in numerous books and films throughout history. The purpose of this article is to provide a list of all the fantastic books and movies that have mentioned Egypt. This article was written by a talented group of tour guides, historians, and travel consultants. Because Egypt has so many monuments, treasures, attractions, and fascinating spots, writers and storytellers have been inspired to write about Egypt’s great history for centuries. There are countless stories and secrets untold in the Land of Pharaohs, and the best way for any traveler to experience the ultimate level of excitement and explore Egypt’s greatness is through one of the most recommended Egypt Tour Packages, but the COVID-19 pandemic has affected people all over the world, making it difficult to leave homes and travel abroad.

So we’ve come up with a one-of-a-kind collection of the best movie and book titles that introduce a lot about the best parts of Egypt through the imaginations of the world’s most fascinating writers. So, take advantage of your free time now and begin digging into Egypt’s fascinating history to learn more and more about this wonderful country that dates back to the days of the Ancients.

1- Chronicle of the Last Summer by Yasmine El-Rashidi

It is a wonderful novel written in 2016 by the amazing writer Yasmine, and its content revolves around the various experiences of a narrator “A young girl” who is recording her summer in Cairo in 1984. While reading the novel, you will listen to some of the narrator’s conversations with her family, and you will feel as if you are in Egypt with a local family, learning about their traditions and way of life. Throughout the novel, you will see the various timeframes and how the narrator became a filmmaker and writer. She made certain to depict some of the most significant responsibilities, complications, and oppression she had to face in her life.

2- The Egyptian by Mika Waltari

Egypt experienced a significant change in its way of life during the 14th century, whether through religion, shifts in leadership, art, or other means, and the amazing novel written by Mika Waltari depicts the most significant social and political dynamics that the narrator faced during that time period. Sinuhe is the main character in that story, and he is attempting to describe his life’s travails. You will be immersed in the ancient Egyptian drama of the 18th dynasty, followed by the great events that Egypt witnessed during the reign of King Akhenaten, who was the one who established Egypt’s new capital. Although the entire story of the Egyptian is fictional, it narrates many stories about Egypt’s ancient history with many accurate details. This story was inspired in part by the ancient Egyptian tale “The Story of Sinuhe,” which is regarded as a major work of Finnish literature.

3- Akhenaten {Dweller in Truth} by Naguib Mahfouz

This incredible book was written in 1985 by the great Arabic writer Naguib Mahfouz and shows very clear perspectives on ancient life in Egypt, particularly during the reign of King Akhenaten. While reading that novel, you will be able to learn about some of that pharaoh’s greatest achievements. Michelle Moran, another incredible writer, took a closer look at the Pharaoh’s wife, Queen Nefertiti, in her novel “Nefertiti,” which was published in 2008. There are many mysteries and secrets about ancient Egyptian life that you should be aware of, and you will undoubtedly be able to learn about many of them by reading such stories, so give it a shot and you will not be disappointed.

4- The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit by Lucette Lagnado

Throughout his 2008 novel, the author managed to speak about a Jewish family who lived in Egypt after the events of 1963. The life of the father in this story is without a doubt the most important part of the story because it depicts a great deal of struggle and escapes from the unknown. While reading and exploring its ancient treasures, you will feel as if you are living in Old Cairo.

5- Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

If you want to explore the amazing beauty of the Nile River, you should definitely read this novel written in 1937 by the amazing writer; Agatha Christie that discusses a mystery death incident on the Nile and she tries to show through her novel that vacations may not go as planned. The main character in that novel is Detective Hercule Poirot, who is trying to enjoy a wonderful vacation in Egypt beginning in Cairo but will face some difficulties while riding a Nile River Cruise between Luxor and Aswan. The author carefully chose the title of her novel in order to add the concept of excitement and mystery to her story, similar to the mystery novels she used to write.

6- Death on the Nile by John Guillermin

The film is one of the best examples of depicting life in Egypt and the best sites that tourists who come to Egypt to enjoy their vacations usually visit. It was written in 1978 and is based on Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile Story. The field depicts the incredible Egyptian sites that should be visited while in Egypt. Hercule, the detective, was played by Peter Ustinov. Throughout the film, you will be able to experience the sensation of embarking on a Nile River Cruise in the middle of the Nile River, visiting the Sofitel Old Cataract Hotel in Aswan (one of the best hotels ever in Egypt), touring the Karnak Temples Complex, and, last but not least, visiting the Abu Simbel Temples. You will be able to visit all of these sites and more as part of our incredible Egypt Tour Packages.

7- Raiders of the Lost Ark by Steven Spielberg

The events of that film took place nearly 1000 miles away from Tunisia. It is unique in that it is one of the first films to depict Cairo’s streets and buildings during the 1930s. This film was released in 1981, and you will thoroughly enjoy it while watching it. Its hero is the talented actor “Harrison Ford,” who is best known as the iconic archaeologist “Indiana Jones.” This film is full of entertainment and excitement as it tells the story of discovery, superstitious curses, and magic.

8- The Yacoubian Building by Marwan Hamed

This is one of the most successful Egyptian films in history, grossing more than 6 million EGPs in its first week of release in 2006. It depicts a real old building in downtown Cairo with numerous tenants telling different stories, including an engineer, a songstress, a millionaire, and an ambitious tailor. You will be able to witness a harsh critique of life in Egypt following the 1952 coup.

9- Cairo Time by Ruba Nadda

This is one of the best examples of romantic drama, with Patricia Clarkson playing Juliette, the wife. Juliette’s experience in Cairo is depicted in the film. It is such an amazing city where the love story begins and never ends, and while watching the film, you will have ample opportunity to explore Cairo’s old streets, shopping markets, and monuments. With such amazing movies and incredible stories and novels, you will never be bored or miss out on the opportunity to explore Egypt’s greatness, even during the COVID pandemic.

10- The Lamp of Umm Hashim and Other Stories

The titular “Lamp of Umm Hashim” is a famous story from Yahya Hakki’s 1943 collection of short stories that explores the cultural differences between the east and west. It follows a young Egyptian studying to be a doctor in England, who returns to Egypt and finds he wishes to apply what he learned to his native culture, but struggles up against Egyptian traditions. This story was adapted into a film by Kamal Attia in 1968.

11- Palace Walk

The first installment of Egyptian literary great Naguib Mahfouz’s critically acclaimed “Cairo Trilogy” is now available. Readers are transported back in time from 1917 to 1919, where Mahfouz explores the massive political and societal shifts that occurred as a result of World War I and the revolution against the British, which was adapted into a 1962 film by Hassan Al Imam.

12- Palace Desire

The second book in Mahfouz’s “Cairo Trilogy” delves into the personal habits and problems of an Egyptian aristocratic family, as well as the political turmoil of 1920s Cairo during the Colonial era. Hassan Al Imam directed the 1967 film adaptation.

13- Sugar Street

The final installment of Mahfouz’s “Cairo Trilogy” finds its central character aging and sick, but able to witness the rise of modern Egypt through his three grandsons, each living their own complex and twisting lives. Hassan Al Imam adapted it into a film in 1973.

14- The Open Door

The novel by Latifa Al-Zayyat is set in 1952 and explores the rise of Egyptian nationalism against the Egyptian youth fighting for freedom, equality, women’s rights, and the opportunity to build a better future. Henry Barakat adapted it into a film in 1963.

15- A Sparrow from the East

Another tale of Egypt meeting Europe, this time from master Arab author Tawfik Hakim, follows a young Egyptian man’s encounter with love in Paris and the cultural conflicts he faces. Youssef Francis adapted the 1938 novel into a film in 1986.

16- The Call of the Curlew

This novel by Egyptian master of literature Taha Hussein tells the story of Amna, a young peasant girl who suffers hardships but eventually marries into wealth, only to discover that even with all the money in the world, her life does not necessarily improve. Henry Barakat adapted it into a film in 1959. So read about Egypt’s ancient history and enjoy every second of your free time until you have the opportunity to go on a private tour of Egypt.

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