The Queue Summary
Basma Abdel Aziz

Everything you need to understand or teach The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz.

  • The Queue Summary & Study Guide

The Queue Overview

Basma Abdel Aziz’s novel The Queue examines the effects of oppressive and violent bureaucracy on the lives of ordinary citizens. In the wake of a failed uprising, the deep state Gate indefinitely closes its doors to applications. Since it has tightened bureaucratic restrictions so far as to require permits for basic medical examinations and even to prove citizen loyalty, a massive queue forms outside the gate over the ensuing months. The novel’s social panorama focuses around the fates of two people: Yehya, an innocent man injured by a government bullet; and Tarek, the doctor who followed orders and did not extract it. Based on the events of the Egyptian crisis during the 2010 Arab Spring, The Queue explores interconnected themes including state violence, the human desire for stability, political rhetoric, weaponized bureaucracy, personal responsibility, community, and isolation.