Suleiman’s Ring

Sherif Meleka
Translated by Raymond Stock


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An enchanted ring brings good fortune to an Egyptian oud player in this compelling novel combining elements of magical realism with political history

Can one man or a mere ring alter the events of one’s life and the history of a country? Combining elements of magical realism with momentous history, Suleiman’s Ring poses these questions and more in a gripping tale of friendship, identity, and the fate of a nation.

Alexandria, Egypt, on the eve of the 1952 Free Officers revolution. Daoud, a struggling musician, is summoned with his best friend Sheikh Hassanein to a meeting with Lt. Col. Gamal Abdel Nasser, who seeks their help as he mobilizes for the revolution. Daoud lends Nasser an enchanted silver ring for its powers to bring good luck. The revolution succeeds but Daoud soon grows estranged from Hassanein, who has joined the Muslim Brotherhood, after he suggests that Daoud leave Egypt since as a Jew he is no longer welcome. When Hassanein is arrested, however, destiny draws Daoud into a complex web of sexual intrigue and betrayal that threatens to upend his already precarious existence.

Set against the backdrop of the simmering political tensions of mid-twentieth-century Egypt and the Arab–Israeli wars, Sherif Meleka’s story of fate and fortune transports us to another time and place while peeling back the curtain on events that still haunt the country to this day.


"Reading Suleiman’s Ring gave me great pleasure. With its many layers of tone and style, it takes the reader on a journey through modern-day Alexandria, recalling the loss of its essentially tolerant outlook, a tolerance that had lain at the heart of this great city’s renaissance."—Ibrahim Abdel Meguid, author of Clouds over Alexandria

"A powerful narration of extremism culminating in the tragic expulsion of the Egyptian Jews from modern Egypt."—Hamdi Abu Golayyel, author of The Men Who Swallowed the Sun

"Three generations of Egyptians are depicted elegantly, in the manner of an epic, and with deep historical insight."—al-Qahira

"Meleka masterfully blends the story of Suleiman [Solomon] and Dawud [David] with contemporary life, covering an important period in Egyptian history spanning more than thirty years, from the secret preparations of the Free Officers Movement in 1952 to the assassination of Anwar Sadat in 1981."—al-Ahali



Sherif Meleka

Sherif Meleka was born in 1958 into a Coptic Christian family in Alexandria, Egypt. A trained medical doctor, he emigrated to the United States in 1984. He is the author of numerous novels, poetry and short story collections in Arabic. Suleiman’s Ring is his English-language debut. He currently lives in Jacksonville, Florida, USA.

Raymond Stock is senior instructor of Arabic at Louisiana State University with a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania (2008). A former resident of Cairo (1990–2010), he has translated seven books and many short stories by Naguib Mahfouz (1911–2006), including Before the Throne, Khufu’s Wisdom, The Coffeehouse (all AUC Press).

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  • March 13th 2023
  • $18.95 / £10.99 / LE300
  • Format: Paperback
  • ISBN: 9781649032041

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