Friday, April 30, 2010

Publishing books in Egypt

Mohamed Hashem's officeseems an unlikely home for Egypt's nascent literary revolution: to find it you have to ascend a shabby set of stairs in a downtown Cairo apartment block shared by, among others, the Egyptian Angling Federation and an orthopaedic surgeon. It's a far cry from the slick headquarters of Egypt's biggest publishing houses. Yet on any given day it's here on Hashem's threadbare sofas that you'll find the cream of young Egyptian writing talent, chain-smoking cigarettes, chatting with literary critics and thumbing through some of the thousands of books stacked from floor to ceiling.
"We can't compete with the big firms in terms of profits, but the new wave of authors will always be sitting here," says the 52-year-old with a grin. "Yes, we have poverty and limited resources. But we also have the future." MORE HERE

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