A new collection of short stories set in expatriate Cairo



In the Empty Flat Upstairs, a Japanese woman, Keiko, has mastered Arabic but is driven crazy by her insistence on knowing the literal truth in a city which values hyperbole and exaggeration. In contrast, an Egyptian neighbor, Mona, becomes so obsessed with watching her foreign gay neighbor that she completely loses interest in her husband and her domestic responsibilities. Instead of watching soap operas, she hangs over the balcony, fascinated and shocked by what she sees. In the final story of the collection, Karalombos and Gary, two fugitives on the run, sneak back into Egypt on the 28th of January 2011, only to find Cairo turned upside down. They take care of the pets of those expatriates who have fled the country. To their surprise, they are even recruited to be actors in a reality television show about the Pyramids during the Egyptian Revolution

Published in Egypt by AFAQ publishers


Also available as an Ebook from Amazon  and all major distributors


New June 2015


By Mohamed Metwalli


Translated by

Gretchen McCullough

and the author

CLICK HERE to read the poems


An Arabic to English translation by Gretchen McCullough of an excerpt from The Snow of Cairo - a new novel by Lebanese writer Lana Abdel Rahman. Published by BrooklynRail InTranslation CLICK HERE to read.

Also mentioned in Arabic Literature in Translation Nov 2014 CLICK HERE



A review by Gretchen McCullough of Tell the World You're a Wildflower - a new collection of short stories by poet and writer, Jennifer Horne. To read the review CLICK HERE

"McCullough is a knowledgeable, experienced, expatriate,"

Don Noble - Tuscaloosa News

"This is something very special"

 Mediterranean Poetry

"A fun read from someone who knows  Cairo well"

 Sherine Said - Scoop Empire

"Gretchen McCullough's latest book captures the magic and absurdity of the city and its people with a humour few local writers have managed to achieve"

Egypt Today

"If you're considering visiting Cairo, let alone living there, read it! It's very funny stuff."

Annemarie Neavy