In his current novel, Rooms for Rent, Mohamed El-Bosaty takes a plunge into the world of Cairo’s hidden alleys and poor neighbourhoods and with his delicate and inoffensive virtual camera taking some of the most enchanting snapshots taken of Egyptian society.
He follows many layers deeper into origins, motivations and dreams, and brings them to the present. Misery is rarely portrayed in darkness.
There are many smiles and much laughter, and children’s joyful play, giving reality to the world that lies silently amid the cracks of the earth. The novel tracks the struggle for survival with all its challenges and surprises, until the moment the protagonists arrive and meet one another in their shared house.
The stories run like an extended series of shots selected from a vast panorama of life among the simple folk of Cairo, with nothing much beyond day-to-day survival to keep them busy.
This small book floats lightly over the wretched and yet still contented lives of the main characters. While at times masterly, the journey leaves many questions unanswered, with characters somewhat deprived of depth.