A Lesson in the Dangers of Book Burning

1 Our family has a long history of disposing of books in various ways. As a boy in Egypt, I remember the regular routine when, every so often, my father would open the cupboards and drawers and arrange his books, magazines, and notebooks. Most dear to him were the notebooks which contained his commentary and … Continue reading A Lesson in the Dangers of Book Burning

‘Beige Writing…’ Ahmed Naji in Conversation

Published first time at: https://partisanhotel.co.uk/Ahmed-Naji Ahmed Naji is an Egyptian novelist and writer. His novel Using Life was published in Arabic in 2014 to widespread critical acclaim. Set in a hellish, fantastic version of Cairo, Using Life explores the city on the brink of destruction, while its young people move from party to party, having … Continue reading ‘Beige Writing…’ Ahmed Naji in Conversation

Thank You PEN

I was honored to be a guest speaker at Pen America New Year New BOOKS party, celebrating with them our love for books and writing. And also remembering other writers who are jailed because of their writing. we live in the times where a dark ghost hovering over the world, spreading desperate making people losing … Continue reading Thank You PEN

A Writer on the Swing of Fear

I was a young lad watching TV with my grandfather, who appeared full of sorrow when he followed a news segment that showed a frail, old man lying in a hospital bed with tubes attached to his body. My grandfather quipped that the old man was a good man and did nothing but write, not … Continue reading A Writer on the Swing of Fear


On a wall facing the police station in Zamalek, one of Cairo’s bourgeois neighborhoods, someone has written: “The life of an ethical individual is based on following the universal system of ethics, but the life of bastards is based on reversing that universal system.” Next to this sentence is a huge graffiti of the face … Continue reading THE LIFE OF BASTARDS

Egypt Art On Trial

Ahmed Naji, 31, is an Egyptian novelist and journalist born in Mansoura in 1985. He is the author of three books, Rogers (2007), Seven Lessons Learned from Ahmed Makky (2009), and The Use of Life (2014), as well as numerous blogs and other articles. He is also a journalist for Akhbar al-Adab, a state-funded literary … Continue reading Egypt Art On Trial

Richard Jacquemond: Ahmed Naji, the Use of Life and the zombies

How do you feel when you learn that the author of the novel you’ve been reading and enjoying for the past few days has just been given a two-year prison sentence for violating public morality? One more on the list, you say. Tens of thousands of his fellow citizens rot in jail, where they are … Continue reading Richard Jacquemond: Ahmed Naji, the Use of Life and the zombies