Ahdaf Soueif is a model of the politically engaged artist. She wrote the bestselling novel The Map of Love, she was a frequent commentator during the revolution in her native Egypt, and she is in the news again after resigning as a trustee of the British Museum over its reluctance to discuss issues like repatriation. Throughout her adult life, Soueif has moved between Britain and Egypt, and she grew up in a Cairo where Europeans and Arabs lived side-by-side. It’s a world she calls a Mezzaterra, a term she coined for a place where people drift peaceably between cultures. As Soueif’s Mezzaterra has crumbled, peoples on both sides of the Mediterranean have become culturally poorer and less secure. Soueif discussed the Mezzaterra with EU Scream after receiving the 2019 ECF Princess Margriet Award for Culture in Amsterdam. She also talked about the persistence of racist thinking, EU-funded authoritarianism in Egypt, and the Cold War roots of terror. Visit our website for episode art and for more EU Scream. “Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125” by Papalin is licensed under CC by 3.0.