Some Achieve Greatness

Some Achieve Greatness
(working title)
جوائز للأبطال
(Jawaez lil abtal )

Written by

(أحمد عوني)

Published by


A 30-year-old privileged Egyptian man consumed by his fears and desires, set to the backdrop of the 2011 Egyptian revolution

Some Achieve Greatness can be read as a satirical and touchingly sincere novel about the Egyptian revolution that held the hopes of an entire generation so high. But it is also very much the story of an individual young man’s heartfelt quest for meaning and his need to belong. Written from the perspective of the main protagonist, the novel opens with Ramy returning to Cairo and coming face to face with his stenciled portraits on the walls. The novel sets out to explore Ramy’s life, his thoughts, and his existential dilemma in depth, and explains how Ramy got himself into this situation. Some Achieve Greatness is a beautiful and surprisingly honest and insightful read on the revolutionaries of the 21st century. Beautifully written, funny, and bitingly satirical, it is also a novel about failing or refusing to grow up in a part of the world where becoming a worthy man sometimes implies making difficult, potentially life-threatening, decisions. Not everyone is meant to be a hero.

Approximate number of pages: 396 p.

Foreign rights: contact the author‘s agent


Reasons to publish this book

One of the best Egyptian novels to capture the struggles of a generation during the Arab Spring years.


Prizes and awards


“What Are You Doing in Berlin?”—a short story by Ahmed Awny by, September 2022

Entretien – Parole à Ahmed Awny (in Arabic, subtitled in French) by Villa Gillet, May 2021 (video interview)


Reviewed by