Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Hajar Press, 2022
Twenty years after she first chanted in Tahrir, Hanan’s son is living under military rule in Egypt. Though he is both a disciple of the national Sufi institute and a swimmer representing the Armed Forces, proximity to power cannot undo his revolutionary birthright: like his mother and grandmother before him, Shahed is an undercover rebel.
When a general arrives at the Sufi institute looking for help with a military assignment, Shahed accepts, all while concealing his own plans for resistance. The mission takes him behind the walls of a prison town, inside a secret army barracks in the Sinai desert, and deep into the murky waters of the past.
As he wades through his mother’s repressed memories and the state’s repressed histories, Shahed grapples with the traumas of the revolution and the weight of authoritarian rule, searching for new ways to revolt for freedom.
Mohamed Tonsy is a queer Egyptian writer and ceramicist. Formerly an architect and a triathlete representing the Egyptian Triathlon Federation, he completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. His writing has appeared in Mizna and Epoch Press and was shortlisted in MFest’s 2021 Short Story Competition. You Must Believe in Spring is his first book.