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The Theocrat

The Theocrat centers on one of Arab and Islamic history's most perplexing figures, al-Hakim bi-Amr Illah (the ruler by order of God), the Fatimid caliph who ruled Egypt during the tenth century. In this remarkable novel Bensalem Himmich explores the tensions and conflicts and their disastrous consequences on an individual ruler and on his people. The full horror and tragedy of al-Hakim s reign is shown in vivid historical narratives; and throws into relief the qualities of those who find themselves forced to cajole, confront, or oppose him.

Bensalem Himmich has written a number of philosophical works as well as several novels and collections of poems. The Theocrat received the al-Naqid Award and was chosen by the Authors Union as one of the best novels of the twentieth century. His novel The Polymath received the Grand Atlas Award in Rabat and the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in Cairo and was published by the AUC Press in 2004.

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