Dossier: Egyptian Literature

Mansoura Ez-Eldin (photo: Arian Fariborz)

Interview with the Egyptian author Mansoura Ez-Eldin


"The current situation is untenable"

For the renowned Egyptian journalist and writer Mansoura Ez-Eldin, the revolution of 2011 provided literary fodder for essays, short stories and now a new novel. Arian Fariborz spoke with her in CairoMore

Empty aisles and stands at the Cairo International Book Fair 2014 (photo: Amira El Ahl)

Cairo International Book Fair 2014

Reader, where art thou?

Many Egyptians are avoiding this year's Cairo International Book Fair for fear of new outbreaks of violence or terrorist attacks. Publishers are complaining about intolerable conditions and a lack of planning. By Amira El Ahl in CairoMore

German Bookshop Lehnert & Landrock

The Dangerous Job of Selling Books in Cairo

Edouard Lambelet's well-known German bookshop is located close to Tahrir Square in Cairo. The bookseller has lived through many conflicts in Egypt, but for the first time, he's now considering throwing in the towel. Holger Heimann reportsMore

Alaaal-Aswani (photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Egyptian Novelist Alaa al-Aswani

''Mubarak's Regime Remains Intact''

According to Egypt's renowned novelist Alaa al-Aswani, the Muslim Brothers' rule was a lesson for the country. "The idea of political Islam is now falling apart," al-Aswani asserts in this interview with Jannis Hagmann. But now, he warns, Mubarak's regime may try to take power againMore

A reading in Cairo, Egypt (photo: Nael El Toukhy/DW)

Egyptian Literature

New Departures, New Visions

Current novels from Egypt tell about people's daily struggle for survival, about their suffering in the face of state violence and corruption, and about managing to get by with the help of tricks and humour. Egyptian literature is available in translation in various forms – from the spontaneous blog to the social novel. By Susanna SchandaMore

Khaled Alkhamissi (photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with Egyptian Writer Khaled Alkhamissi

''We Are Living in a Vibrant Social Era in Egypt''

Best-selling author and journalist Khaled Alkhamissi is one of the sharpest observers of Egyptian society. In his novels Taxi and Noah's Ark he foretold the fall of the Mubarak regime. Bettina Kolb spoke to him about a revolution that is far from overMore

Visitors of the Cairo book fair (photo: Amira El Ahl)

44th Cairo Book Fair

A Breath of Fresh Air for Publishers

Last year, the Cairo Book Fair was thrown into the shadows by the revolutionary events in Egypt, but this year the public is once more showing interest. As Asira El Ahl found out, the young generation is especially keen on the kinds of books which meet their interestsMore

Alaa al-Aswany walks with anti-Mursi protesters as they chant anti-government slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo November 27, 2012 (photo: Reuters)

The Writer Alaa al-Aswani

A Desperate Citizen of Egypt

"We will topple Mursi, just as we toppled Mubarak": A few years ago Alaa al-Aswani wrote what is arguably the most successful novel ever to be written in Arabic, now he is fighting for democracy in his homeland. By Tim NeshitovMore

Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia (photo: Reuters)

Saudi Prize for Translations

Big Words, Big Prize-Money

In Berlin, Saudi emissaries have presented the world's largest prize for translation. But the show and the obsequious ritual that go with the prize seem to be more important than anything else: one previous winner has only received a fraction of the prize-money he was promised. According to Werner Bloch, it was a bizarre eventMore

Salwa Bakr (photo: Claudia Mende)

Profile of the Egyptian Writer Salwa Bakr

The Voice of the Marginalized

Salwa Bakr is an unassuming literary star. Not a natural self-promoter, the Egyptian writer is nevertheless one of her nation's best known authors at international level. She has written 18 books, many of which have gained international recognition and been translated into nine languages. By Claudia MendeMore

Youssef Ziedan (photo: Doris Poblekowski)

Youssef Ziedan's Novel ''Azazeel''

In Case of Doubt, Choose Doubt

Youssef Ziedan's "Azazeel" was awarded the renowned Arab Booker Prize in 2009. Our reviewer Andreas Pflitsch says that this historical novel is a plea against religiously motivated violenceMore

Mansoura ez-Eldin (photo: © Mansoura ez-Eldin)

Mansoura ez-Eldin's ''Beyond Paradise''

Dark Family Secrets on the Nile

A book by the Egyptian writer Mansoura ez-Eldin has been published in German for the first time. In it, the novelist relates a family saga set in the landscape of the Nile Delta. But as a work that first appeared in pre-revolutionary 2009, does it have any relevance now? Axel von Ernst finds outMore

Protest on Tahrir Square (photo: AP, dapd)

Alaa al-Aswani's "On the State of Egypt"

''Democracy Is the Solution''

A selection of columns published before the revolution by celebrated Egyptian writer Alaa al-Aswani show that even if the West was turning a blind eye to imminent political change in Egypt, many writers and intellectuals were making clear predictions of the seismic eruptions to come. By Andreas PflitschMore

Alaa Al Aswany (photo: dpa)

Interview with Alaa Al Aswany

''We're Still at the Beginning''

Alaa Al Aswany qualified as a dentist, but is better known to the world as the best-selling author of The Yacoubian Building and one of the spokespersons of the "Kifaya" protest movement. In this interview, he tells Thomas Kohlmann that the revolution on Tahrir Square, of which he was a part, will continue and that it is really only at the beginningMore

Detail from the "Microphone" film poster (source:

Egyptian Cinema

Enormous Creative Energy

Egypt's filmmakers were among those who openly protested against Mubarak, thus toppling his regime. Now, they will have to change the language of their country's cinema. Amin Farzanefar on what the Arab Spring means for the Egyptian cinemaMore

Protesters rest under the shadow of an army tank on Tahrir square (photo: picture alliance/dpa)

The Role of Film-Makers in the New Egypt

Revolution on Screen

What happens when a country's biggest stars are despised because they supported a former dictator? Very few of Egypt's illustrious old TV guard are still in front of the camera. Yet two film-makers are already working on an appraisal of the protests in Tahrir Square. Moritz Baumstieger reportsMore