Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Metro, a Damned Book!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009
The book cover

"Metro", the first graphic novel in Egypt was released around this time last year, I didn't get to read it and I'm not sure what exactly is its plot but that doesn't change the fact that it's a book, a book that a writer and a illustrator made an effort to write, and it deserves to be published.

Mohamed Magdy, the artist behind the book

The book was banned in Egypt weeks after its distribution by Malamih publishing house, which also printed the book, and both the writer "Magdy El-Shafie" and the publisher "Mohamed El-Sharkawy" are up for a trial because of it ever since, the book - Naturally - is still banned here.

The Publisher

Unfortunally I couldn't attend the press conference that was held yesterday somewhere downtown Cairo to discuss the latest updates that took place durning the court session that was held couple of days ago, what I've heard through Facebook.com is that the trail was pushed to a later date and the whole supject is still bending at the moment.

Personally, I think that any book has the right to be published even if it was offensive to some people, any writer who has the creativity in him/her should be able to say whatever he/she feels like saying, and the debates between any two groups should take place in more neutral atmoshpere than a court.

The freedom of speech in Egypt is not a political concept at all, it's a human right that should be giving to anyone who's asking for it, a right to talk about any subject that any Egyptian can talk about without the fear of being pushed to court, or damned by any group of people, or even the leaders of any religion.

The book might be right in some places and wrong in others, I didn't read it so I wouldn't know, but no person should be banned or attacked because of his/her thoughts or the way it was expressed, and any creative act just be treated jently and with care.

and from now til that happens in Egypt, If ever, Metro would join a gorup of other books that was banned or attacked, a group that included some of the best Arabic writers in the world.
the list would start with "Nagib Mahfooz" and won't stop with "Metro".


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