“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”.
He’s an architect who lost his faith in art and himself after the 1992 earthquake, which sparked a crisis on both personal and professional levels. This may explain the novel’s loose and fragile structure, parallel to the loose and fragile buildings destroyed by the quake.
“It was a late realization, actually. Yes, I was a bookworm since I was just a kid, but the idea of being a writer never came to my mind.”
Among the six shortlisted novels, Rabie’s Otared (2014) is already available in English (2016), translated by Robin Moger.
Mada Masr reported that lawyer Mahmoud Osman said Naji is expected to be released later today, “after Tora Prison authorities receive a fax from the South Cairo Criminal Court.”
“He was sitting, motionless, his face frozen as though sculpted from stone, staring into nothingness as though he had lost his hearing or his sight.”
“Finally, I thank those who selected my novel for this prize: you have awarded me a moment of joy, of which I was most in need.”
“The candid depiction of the worsening situation of Egyptian Christians and their alienation in their own country is touching and sensitively written,” prize judge Rasheed El-Enany wrote in his remarks.
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“I will admit to a hope, though: that they are the tip of an iceberg, and that more such works will be discovered in due course. That’s the more interesting scenario.”
Just to be sure, I drove past her slowly and watched her in the mirror as she looked my way. I stopped and went back. I turned off the music and rolled down my window. With the innocence and politeness of a child, I said: “Are you going somewhere madam? Would you like a ride?”