Mar 23 2020

Bahaa Taher (Egypt) was born in Giza, Greater Cairo, in , to Upper Egyptian parents from the village of Karnak, Luxor. He holds postgraduate diplomas in. Bahaa Taher was born in Cairo, Egypt. He was active in the country’s left-wing literary circles of the s and in the mid s was prevented from publishing . Bahaa Taher was born , in Giza (Greater Cairo), to parents from the Karnak village in the Luxor governorate, Upper Egypt. He graduated from the literature.

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I believe what he did was a miracle, given the context, when people were dying of hunger in the countryside. I realized that people have lost their belief in intellectual leadership. InTaher lost his job as director of cultural programming for Cairo Radio, and his writing was banned from publication.

Cairo’s greatest literary secret | Books | The Guardian

A stubborn believer in Arab unity, who sees himself as “one of the last surviving Nasserists”, Taher says, “I didn’t at all like the revolution when I was young. His travels took him to Africa and Asia and later also to Switzerland, where he worked as a translator for the United Nations in Geneva. It was written as violent clashes between Muslims and Copts were erupting in Upper Egypt, and its vision of harmony angered parts of bhaa communities.

He was sacked in If it was a free election, they’d have won T he latest Booker prizewinner is tucking into seafood risotto beside the calm waters of the Arabian Gulf, weighing up a sometimes turbulent career.

Cairo’s greatest literary secret

Al-Hob fi al-Manfa Love in Exile widely acclaimed novel, described by I’tidal Osman as “an expansive vision that encompasses taherr and homeland, north and south, self and other” The taaher of light Sunset Oasis His sixth novel is set in 19th century Egypt at the beginning of the British occupation of the country.

The book, which illustrated a defining—and vanishing—feature of Egyptian society—the peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths and backgrounds—was part homage, part admonishment of the dangers of divisiveness.

I couldn’t write for newspapers or translate. Taher’s humane vision may chime with an implicit aim of the prize. The novel probes the possible motivations behind this bizarre act of vandalism.

Bahaa Taher: Of Hope and Remembrance

Inhe was awarded the prestigious Italian Giuseppe Acerbi Prize for My Aunt Safiya and the Bauaa, which was also made into a television serial popular throughout the Arab world.


He is the first winner of this prize. The emancipated women of the s were not rewarded at all. I was a liberal, and went on demonstrations against dictatorial policies. Isolated by the surrounding vastness of the desert, the oases and its inhabitants are a microcosm of competing attitudes.

The Prague Writers Festival is proud to host the author this year, and to celebrate a body of work that is both compellingly entertaining and profoundly humane. Bahaa the conflict of the main character between rebellion and obedience may be timeless, the multiple perspectives, which, amongst others, include the voice of Alexander the Great, are historically specific. When asked why he bahaaa the relative comfort of Taaher to return to Egypt, Taher says: In Love in Exiletranslated ina divorced journalist and unrepentant Nasserist has an affair with a younger Austrian woman in an unnamed European city.

The USA is still very racist.

While initially focussing on everyday events, the narrative soon takes unexpectedly tragic twists and turns. While abroad, he followed Egyptian affairs closely, noting the growing gap between rich and poor, Bauaa and Christian. He petitions for the release of political detainees, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which boycotted Tuesday’s municipal elections after hundreds were arrested in a pre-election crackdown.

One of the most widely-read novelists in the Arab world, he is a captivating story-teller, appreciated for the precision and economy of his writing.

The Arabic Booker prize was launched to some swingeing attacks in the Arab press, with complaints about aping western models, and alleged geographical bias there were two Egyptians and no Gulf writers on the shortlist of six. A storyteller and social commentator Taher lost his job in radio broadcasting and was prevented from publishing in the mid s in Sadat’s Egypt. Denied his source of livelihood, Taher moved to Switzerland, serving the United Nations as translator for nearly twenty years.

For Mahmoud, who shatters the glorious past to open people’s eyes to the present, it is a bitter irony that “our ancestors were great men, but their grandchildren are fit only for occupation”.

Sunset Oasis reflects his frustration at Egypt’s stagnation under Hosni Mubarak, president since Sadat’s assassination in and now poised to hand power to his son Gamal. The award was announced during the international book fair there, now a joint venture with Frankfurt, aimed at stimulating publishing in the region, with zero tolerance of rampant book piracy. Apart from the translation into English of two of his novels, his collected works were published in Cairo by Dar al Hilal inand a film was made about him as a leading member of the 60s generation by Jamil ‘At iyyat lbrahim in But society was not ready.


Inthis Egyptian police chief dynamited part of the ancient Ammon-Ra temple complex whose oracle Alexander the Great consulted. I can’t see a society, just individuals. After many years of exile in Switzerland, he has returned recently to Egypt and is very active in all cultural circles.

We kill our poets with silence and we kill them with forgetfulness.

Taher returned to Egypt in and is now considered one of the most important novelists in the country. When asked if he still feels that youth holds the key to a better Egypt, Taher offers a fervent: The USA is still very racist His illiterate mother spun mesmerising tales about families and vendettas in Luxor, “her paradise lost”. In Egypt, where state interference in artistic activity ranges from the subtle to the brutally manipulative, the creative voice has been threatened with extinction, and with it, the values of a culture renowned for its longevity and ability to survive against the odds.

Now he pats his pockets in vain for the cigarettes he “gave up four days ago”, while his frequent laughter gives way to a nasty cough. Taher is co-founder of the opposition Kifaya movement, which was founded in by intellectuals and campaigned for political change and against the rule of Hosni Mubarak. Bahaa Taher was sacked as a radio journalist in Egypt in the s and driven into exile.

Toggle navigation Authors He says, “Many prizes in the Arab world give priority not to literary vahaa, but to politics or fashion. As a student, Taher believed in the principles behind the Officers Revolution, which put an end to the year-long British occupation and the royal status of the year-old Bahxa Ali dynasty. Bahaa Taher was born in in Giza. Shortly after graduating from the University of Cairo, he started work in Radio 2, the culture channel of the Egyptian Radio.