"Sorprendersi in Egitto", a book of former CAWU intern Veronica Merlo on her experience in Egypt with the Arabic language

Sent On: 
Thu, 2022-07-21
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Three years ago, July 2019, Italian student Veronica Merlo applied for a journalism internship at the Center for Arab-West Understanding. She had started to study Arabic in Egypt in 2017. The internship deepened her desire to understand the diversity of the country, its history, cultures and societies. Veronica describes her time at CAWU as an experience that contributed immensely to her personal, intellectual and professional growth.


Veronica is now in Beirut, Lebanon, for the EU Aid Volunteers programme and launched a crowdfunding campaign with the publishing house Bookabook for her book in Italian, "Sorprendersi in Egitto" (Surprise yourself in Egypt)



“Sorprendersi in Egitto” is a book about a surprising journey in Egypt and discovering the beauty of the Arabic language and fundamental human principles.  Veronica’s book describes ten principles (from Energy to Love) that are associated with ten specific Egyptian expressions learnt on the way. These expressions are linked to a collection of short episodes from her experience in Egypt with information on the country and personal reflections. Through this book, Veronica hopes to offer a pleasant, inspiring, original reading on Egypt which might inspire the reader to get to know the country more intimately.


After her first year in Egypt, Veronica felt the need and the desire to share what she has learnt in Egypt and through the study of Arabic. After her time with CAWU she lived in South Sinai where she decided to create this brief and pleasant book, with the intent to offer a variety of insights on a country that people often only associate to the ancient pyramids and luxurious resorts at the sea, on the one side, and violence, terrorism and instability, on the other side.


The book was selected to be part of Bookabook crowdfunding campaigns, which aim to build a community of readers around a book before publishing it. Therefore, if you want to contribute to the campaign, you can pre-order the book (paperback 12 Euros or e-book 6,99 Euros).


How the campaign works?


On 17/07/2022 the crowdfunding campaign for "Sorprendersi in Egitto started. You can go to the following link:



Here, you can check the synopsis and an extract from the book, if you like it, you can pre-order up to 5 copies (5 paperbacks or 4 paperbacks and 1 e-book). The objective is to reach 200 pre-orders in 100 days starting from 15 July 2022.


If you know anyone who might be interested in the book, feel free to share the news, that is essential to build a community around this book.


If Veronica reaches 200 copies in 100 days, the book will be published with the publishing house Bookabook with no cost for the author. Anyone who pre-ordered it will receive the published version and the book will be available for anyone to buy. The book is sadly only in Italian now and I much hope Veronica will later be able to translate this into English. I hope for now that all our Italian readers will sign-up for this book. I know from the articles that Veronica published in Arab-West Report that she is an excellent writer.


For any further information, you can contact Veronica via email at:

[email protected]


And you can follow her on social media through the Instagram page @almuhit_the ocean and on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/veronica.merlo.503


It is nice to see student interns as Veronica develop so well. It shows the importance of these internships for students who come to Egypt to get to know Egypt’s culture.



July 21, 2022

Cornelis Hulsman, Editor-in-Chief Dialogue Across Borders (previously Arab-West Report)