An Englishwoman’s roller coaster journey from post WWII London to the heart of the unprecedented, momentous Egyptian revolution. Peak preview

"From Trafalgar to Tahrir", a book by Rosemary Sabet,


In this intriguing memoir, British born Rosemary Sabet moves back and forth between her past as a child growing up in post war London and her present involvement in the Egyptian revolution.  The events in Tahrir Square, Cairo, trigger her memory as she questions what quirks of fate brought her to participate in such an unprecedented, momentous uprising.

As we follow the twists and turns and churning uncertainty of Egypt’s revolution from its outset on January 25th 2011 until the ambivalent celebration one year later the author, fuelled by passion, recounts her personal involvement in the uprising, in which she experienced periods of great fear and disappointment intermingled with moments of courage and triumph.

In a series of anecdotes, the reader is taken on a nostalgic journey of the author’s carefree childhood, to her unconventional experiences abroad as a young girl in the fifties.  With raw and honest insight, Sabet remembers London’s swinging sixties and reveals some of her wickedly funny amorous escapades.  We follow her to Rome during the era of the dolce vita where she eventually meets and marries her Egyptian husband.  They move to Southern Yemen where she begins to encounter the cultural challenges so imbued in the Middle East, and from where she is propelled to nearly four decades of Egypt’s turbulent history.

International orders - Author House / /

Egypt orders - contact the Author directly / visit Diwan Bookstores

More - Author Biography / Press Release / Read an excerpt from the book

Reader's comments
Hani Riad, U.S. ... 'I am half way through your book and must say, as an AUC creative writing prize-winner, and one time highly promising theatre actor, I am very pleasantly surprised and impressed with it. In particular the chapters on your early years and travels make compelling reading; I feel as though I were there with you. The interweaving of chapters about your own story with that of the revolution provides the reader with a continuous reprieve from the unpleasantness of what is happening in Egypt. If you wish I will write a customer review for Amazon. As I have gone from being an avid reader to an occasional, lazy reader, I expect I will not have finished reading the book until 10 days from now, at which point I will be in a position to write the review. For now congratulations on a very impressive'

George Youssef Khoury...' Started reading your book yesterday's evening - a delight!' ... 'While still reading (page 50) I particularly enjoy the clarity and humour of the style. The shifts between the letters (diary of the early days of the revolution) and the autobiographic chapters keeps the tempo going fast and the interest alive. The letters are an accurate, vivid description of events of the early days of the revolution in Egypt, with which we Egyptians can relate very well, and the autobiography is quite appealing by the universal experiences we all share in one way or another in spite of the different cultural backgrounds.'

Christine English from Jamaica on Amazon ... 'Rosemary has written a most important book. She chronicled the daily movements of the Egyptian Revolution providing us with intimate details surrounding her own involvement, her family's, friends and the people of Cairo. She approached it with honesty and frankness, allowing us to very much feel a part of this difficult and dangerous process. She interspersed it with light anecdotes surrounding her childhood, her travels and the road she took eventually arriving in Egypt to fall in love with the country and its people. It is warm, refreshing, an easy to read and intelligently written book. Well done and I hope that this is just the first of many to come.' ...'I am so enjoying your book. We share so much and were both married the same year. I, like you, was were married 1970, and our son Max was born in December 1970. We had very similar childhoods and more.' ... 'Your book was fun, easy to read and identify with, thoughtful and thought-provoking through your letters from Egypt. I hope it gets the deserved response.'

Jonathon Newel, U.K. ...'One of my birthday presents to myself was your book, which is absolutely fascinating and riveting.'

Ines Houzein, Cairo ...'I had the honour to attend the book signing of our dear friend Rosemary Sabet. I was proud to see her addressing the audience with ease and simplicity. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and the connections created, bridging two different eras and two different societies with one aim – rights!'

Nini Sharawy, author of 'Casting Off the Veil', ...'I think what Rosemary did is extremely important. It is practically a daily diary of the 25 January revolution, aside from a personal diary to compare and contrast two very different realities, and it will be increasingly useful as time goes on. It is also very well written, Rosemary is perspicacious and clear-minded and her choice of words is very precise. I also had the honour of attending her book signing event and thus have my signed copy.'

Regina M. Fagan, from California on Amazon ...'This is a wonderfully written, first-person account of what happened during the Egyptian Spring, told by someone who was front and center for all the events leading up to the end of the Mubarak regime. Mrs. Sabet brings us right along with her and her family, as they bravely attend the demonstrations in Tahrir Square and stand side by side with the thousands of people demanding a new day for Egypt. But she also alternates chapters with stories of her remarkable life, growing up in Britain, leaving home to travel, meeting wonderful people along the way, and finally marrying a delightful Egyptian man and moving to Cairo to start a family. As I finished each chapter of her life story I could hardly wait to see what adventure she began next. She left me laughing many times. And as I read each portion of her on-the-street reports of the situation in Cairo I was riveted - nervous and doubting I could be as brave were I living in Egypt that memorable year. Read for the enjoyment of getting to know a remarkable woman, and read also to learn the truth about what started in Eqypt and continues to this day. I only hope Mrs. Sabet will continue the story in yet another great book.'

author biography

I was born and educated in London, where I enjoyed the beginning of the swinging sixties, during which time my brother and I played folk and classical guitar and sometimes performed in local pubs. When I was 24, and full of the spirit of adventure, I moved to Rome where I lived for six years, working for the Food and Agricultural Organisation. It was here that I met and married my Egyptian husband, who was to change my whole life. After a short spell in Southern Yemen, we moved permanently to Cairo. I have travelled extensively within Egypt, discovering relatively unknown territories. I have two sons, Mika and Teymour, who have each given me a grandson.

While in Cairo, I returned to a life-long love of dance and retrained to become a dancer. I performed in a number of productions and eventually joined the British International School, Cairo in order to teach ballet, modern dance and jazz, this led to a career teaching both dance and drama. I gained an MA in Drama in Education in 2001, having written a 25,000 word thesis entitled 'Towards & Beyond a Fusion of Process Drama & Product Drama.' and finally retired from my post as Head of Visual and Performing Arts in June 2011.

As an active participant in the Egyptian revolution, I wrote a blog about the uprising from its beginning on January 25th 2011 until 28th April 2011. As a result of this, I decided to continue to keep a diary of the events in Tahrir Square, Cairo with the intention of turning it into a book upon my retirement. However, I had for some time, had a yen to write about my personal life and some of my adventures. As a result, I wrote the book 'From Trafalgar to Tahrir', which takes the reader backwards and forwards between anecdotal memoirs and my diaries of the revolution from its outset until 25th January 2012.

With more free time now, I plan to return to playing the guitar and carry on with my photography. My main goal, however, is to write a second book – a novel which will take place in England, Italy and Egypt.

Rosemary Sabet - Books on Egypt Tahrir Revolution Books