“On one recent afternoon, al-Moussawi drove to an upscale neighborhood and parked at a mall near the University of Baghdad. There the clientele was mainly students, so he put out textbooks, novels and poetry in different languages, and celebrity biographies.”
If Amal Farah could go back in time, “I would read much more in physics and philosophy. I have read a great deal of the books that helped me become the writer I am today, but I would advise everyone to indulge in these two areas to write for children, those amazing and wise creatures.”
“The novel, The Sheikh’s Sermon, reportedly appeared in installments in the journal Al-Safour in 1916.”
“The things I liked about this book, and which I hope would come across in the translation, would be the elusive and delicate nature of the prose and the often beautiful, uncertain, way sentences stopped or turned or gathered. It is a very brilliant and subtle and strange meditation on history and books and narratives of all kinds.”
Paulo has strong links to the vibrant and pro-revolutionary cultural scene in Cairo as well as to the Egyptian security apparatus before and during the time of the revolution.”
“As usual I sat at the front, close to the blackboard because I’m short-sighted, and to the left, so the teacher’s body wouldn’t hide what he wrote.”
“The Arabic novel, and Arabic poetry, are no less than any literary production anywhere in the world.”
Those up for the “best novel” slot, in addition to Mourad, were popular and award-winning novelists Ibrahim Eissa, Youssef Ziedan, Ahmed Khaled Tawfiq, and Ammar Ali Hassan.
According to Variety, the film — which opened in Egypt yesterday — is “certain to be one of the most discussed movies in the territory.”
“In my experience what tends to happen is — first you like someone’s work, then you meet them and it puts you off their existence!”
“My writer colleagues whether in Egypt or the Arab world are fighters and schemers and I’m happy to be part of this contradictory, vagabond, incongruous mosaic in the middle of the present ruins of the greater Middle East.”
The spark for the ten-play collection was Ibrahim El-Husseini′s Comedy of Sorrows, a work that Maggor helped translate and stage in 2012. Comedy of Sorrows, part of the first wave of post-2011 plays, was brought into English not for a general audience, but for an academic conference at Harvard University entitled “Women Making Democracy”.