This prize-winning novel portrays the shallowness of the petrodollar culture and the price one pays for quick money. The protagonist, an educated middle-class Egyptian from Alexandria, describes his experiences and those of migrant workers and professionals in one of the Gulf states, and their interaction with the oil-rich country's local elite and with agents of western businesses.
Ibrahim Abdel Meguid has combined critical and creative writing throughout his literary career. Soon after completing a B.A. in philosophy at Alexandria University, he published his first novel. He is also a Consultant for Cultural Matters at the Popular Culture Council. Farouk Abdel Wahab, the Ibn Rushd Professorial Lecturer in Arabic at the University of Chicago, has translated numerous Arabic works of fiction, most recently Birds of Amber by Ibrahim Abdel Meguid (AUC Press, 2005).