I am currently in the midst of the Cairo Trilogy,(Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street) by Naguib Mahfouz (Nobel Prize for Literature 1988). These three novels tell the story of three generations of an Egyptian family during the first half of the twentieth century. In an intensely patriarchal culture and against the political background of Egypt's struggle for ndependence, the richly-drawn characters experience love, rebellion, infidelity, and tragedy. Particularly interesting is the complex variety of relationships that each of the characters have with Islam, some sincerely devout, others offering lip service while flouting its demands, and yet others rejecting it. Altogether a fascinating read.