Ali, a butcher's accountant in Cairo, wants to become an actor. He's part of an amateur theater troupe; it's the only thing that excites him, it's the dream that helps him carry on. After Rod El-Farag, the market where he works, is destroyed, he decides to pack up and head for Paris. In the Menilmontant district, he gets a job boxing in rigged fights. He quickly becomes disillusioned and attempts to break away, but his "protectors" won't let him go. After an accident, he sinks into total amnesia. Once he's back home, he remains convinced that only the theater allows him a glimmer of the world and that the true voyage is the one you take in your own head.