Perihan El Etreby

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Course studied: MA Creative Writing
Graduating year: 2020


Perihan was born and raised in Alexandria, Egypt. She has had a passion for travelling since a very young age, which made her perceive her society and other cultures from different perspectives. She writes in Arabic, English and French, taking every opportunity to explore the realities of the Egyptian society, especially those facing women. She worked at Identity Magazine in Cairo, where she published 56 articles, after winning the ‘Battle of the Writers’ competition, before moving to Bath to pursue her MA in Creative Writing. She is now teaching literature in Egypt while completing her first novel.


In the Name of Dalida is set in Egypt and France, running from 1967, during the Arab-Israeli war, to 2016, five years after the revolution. This time span reflects the generational and cultural shifts in Egypt, while also drawing attention to the experiences of Middle Eastern and North African immigrants living in contemporary France. The novel explores an interfaith love story, forbidden by both religion and law, between a Muslim girl, Dalida, and a Christian man, Sami. Although Dalida constantly tries to disentangle herself from being another victim to both her society’s sexism and her abusive father, who is responsible for her mother’s death, she still finds herself stuck between her attachment to God, her love for Sami, and coping with her life as an immigrant in France.

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