The collection of the Egyptian blogger and activist Alaa Abd El Fattah’s essays is due out October 20, 2021:
Naomi Klein will write the preface.
Alaa Abd el-Fattah, 39, is arguably the most high profile political prisoner in Egypt, if not the Arab world. A leading figure among the young technologists and bloggers of the 2000s he rose to international prominence during the revolution of 2011. A fiercely independent thinker who fuses politics and technology in powerful prose, an activist whose ideas represent a global generation which has only known struggle against a failing system, a public intellectual with the rare courage to offer personal, painful honesty, Alaa’s written voice came to symbolize much of what was fresh, inspiring and revolutionary about the uprisings that have defined the last decade.
Alaa has been in prison for most of the last seven years and many of the pieces collected here were smuggled out of his cell. From theses on technology, to theories of history, to painful reflections on the meaning of prison, his voice in these pages – arranged by family and friends – cuts as sharply relevant, as dangerous, as ever.
As Mada Masr notes, Abd El Fattah’s latest incarceration began in September 2019, “when was arrested by national security agents as he was leaving Dokki Police Station, where he had been forced to spend 12 hours every night — from 6 pm to 6 am — as part of his probation since his release from prison at the end of March after serving a five-year sentence.”
The charges are “belonging to an illegal organization and spreading false information.” One of Abd El Fattah’s sisters, Sana Seif, was recently sentenced to 18 months for “spreading false news.”
Abd El Fattah’s published essays have shown a broad and innovative approach to issues from climate change to health to technology and labor in Egypt’s twenty-first century economy.
As artist and writer Ganzeer said on Twitter: