Three wishes that are sold at an unassuming kiosk in Cairo link Aziza, Nour, and Shokry, changing their perspectives as well as their lives. Aziza learned early that life can be hard, but when she loses her husband and manages to procure a wish, she finds herself fighting bureaucracy and inequality for the right to have—and make—that wish. Nour is a privileged college student who secretly struggles with depression and must decide whether or not to use their wish to try to “fix” this depression, and then figure out how to do it. And, finally, Shokry must grapple with his religious convictions as he decides how to help a friend who doesn’t want to use their wish. Deena Mohamed brings to life a cast of characters whose struggles and triumphs are heartbreaking, inspiring, and deeply resonant.
Although their stories are fantastical—featuring talking donkeys, dragons, and cars that can magically avoid traffic—each of these people grapples with the very real challenge of trying to make their most deeply held desires come true.
From: Penguin Random House
Notes on This Title
This series is set in an alternate version of contemporary Egypt. It contains suicidal ideation and depictions of terminal illness.
One of the focal characters is a college student who uses they/them pronouns, and who suffers from anxiety and depression.
Originally published in three Arabic-language volumes, in 2023 this series was translated into English and collected in a single volume.
2017 Cairo Comics Festival - Best Graphic Novel
2017 Cairo Comics Festival - Grand Prize
2023 Kirkus Reviews - Best Fiction Books
“Ultimately, “Shubeik Lubeik” is all about life in Cairo, a city afflicted by inequalities and disparities of all kinds, and Mohamed’s attention to the politics of place is of a piece with what makes a comic Egyptian — much of the alt-comix movement there has focused on urban life. Mohamed, with her fantastical but grounded exploration of wishes, captures this stratified society.” (Source: The Washington Post)
“Immensely enjoyable.” (Source: Kirkus Reviews)