I was paging through Dr. Samia Mehrez’s Egyptian Writers Between History and Fiction (2005), looking for inspiration, when I found this from Sonallah Ibrahim:
Have not revolutions and historical rebellions always passed through these two stages? In the beginning the goal is simple and clear and everything is either black or white, with or against. There is enthusiasm and faith in the future and the ability to change the course of history. Not a time for reflection and analysis. Then the revolution is accomplished and another stage with a slower rhythm begins: tasks are more complex, objectives are less clear, and shadows of gray begin to smudge the whiteness and the blackness. This becomes the time for thinking. What about? The mistakes of the first stage and the possibilities of the future.
Ibrahim was fairly quiet about the Jan. 25 uprising until recently, when he’s been out talking about his latest novel, Ice (2011), which takes us back to the Soviet Union during Brezhnev’s time. He gave an interview to Youm 7 about the book and Egyptian politics. And Abdel-Fattah Hegazy from Shorouk attended Ibrahim’s Monday reading. We discover who Ibrahim is backing for the presidency, what he thinks of Salafis, and a little about the novel.
More from Ibrahim: Writer/translator Elliott Colla also interviewed Ibrahim on a recent visit to Egypt, and I believe Elliott should be running the interview on Jadaliyya soon.