Review by Ibrahim S. Fawzy
In this fascinating book Professor, Hany Saed takes his readers on a journey into the visual world where he searches for his own identity as well as ours. The book documents a journey through social media, especially Facebook, which lasted nearly eight years. The author`s -eight-year experience loaded with events in the visual world is depicted in this book. Until the Break of Dawn: An Electronic Autobiography belongs almost everywhere: it can be considered an autobiography, a diary, a collection of short stories, a novel and a collection of essays. Yet, it should be considered a new genre that is electronic autobiography. It also belongs to travel literature as it is a long journey where reality and imagination intermingle. This book obviously shows how the visual world has become real and vice versa.
In fact, everything you need to read will be found in this masterpiece. This book has been divided into five chapters: the first chapter includes essays that bring to light the Egyptian culture, especially that of the Egyptian countryside and its traditions. The essays also deal with Egyptian myths, such as Abo-Shwal, Abo-Regl Maslokha and Al-Ghola. Additionally, they deal with familial relationships and how the Egyptian countryside has been changed over time. The second chapter includes reflections and short stories that show the author’s philosophy in life and enlighten the readers’ way as he gives the author gives advice through narrating personal experiences. The third chapter includes selections that represent the author. The final chapter includes real stories experienced by people the author knows; these stories give us morals and show how the author behaved with those people to help them overcome their problems.
Eloquently written, the book shows how social media has greatly changed us into consumers and how it falsified our real world. The author uses different methods of narration to attract his readers whom he classifies into two categories: his readers who were his followers on Facebook and may have read and reacted to the content of the book and the book readers who first read the book without knowing the author and concludes that both readers, the one of the book and the one of the author, will have different interactions with the book. The language of the book is simple as Professor Hany Saed mixes Colloquial Arabic with Standard Arabic according to the situation and the background of the speaker. He uses imagery and extended metaphors to make his readers imagine and experience the event themselves. The tone in most parts of the book is sarcastic, yet sometimes it is critical, revolutionary and quiet as life is full of everything. Undoubtedly, he writes in a magnificent way.
Finally, this book clearly brings into view the life and the significant role of the University Professor and shows that the book will always have its value notwithstanding the advancement in technology.
About Ibrahim S. Fawzy
Ibrahim S. Fawzy is a Lecturer-Faculty of Arts-Fayoum University-Egypt. He invites you to follow him on Goodreads.