The Shape of Dust
An incredible true tale of overcoming injustice and ode to the fierce love within one family, The Shape of Dust is a haunting appraisal of the way Australia treats its citizens, both at home and abroad.
In 2018, on his way to a family holiday in Cairo, Australian-Egyptian citizen Hazem Hamouda disappears without warning, going missing somewhere between landing and customs.
His eldest daughter, Lamisse, has recently moved to Egypt armed with a scholarship to the American University of Cairo, and overnight her world is turned upside down. With little Arabic and even less legal knowledge, she finds out her father has been arbitrarily arrested. Going up against the notorious Egyptian prison system, Lamisse discovers that the Australian embassy provides shockingly little support to dual citizens arrested abroad.
Shouldering the responsibility of her father’s welfare, Lamisse learns to navigate both deeply flawed systems, and freeing Hazem involves a reckoning with the two countries she’s called home – coming to terms with the prejudice and racism of the country she grew up in and the corruption in the country she was hoping to reconnect with.
Told with exquisite intimacy by both father and daughter, The Shape of Dust is an Australian story unlike any other, and the striking debut of a writer of incredible nuance, insight and talent.