Alaa Al Aswany is the most successful Arab writer of recent decades. The Yacoubian Building and his other novels have been published in dozens of countries. Al Aswany is also known for his long opposition to Hosni Mubarak, the president-pharaoh forced to resign under the pressure of the 2011 Tahrir Square revolution. Later he staked out controversial positions during the early stages of the 2013 coup against Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, which helped the Abdel Fattah el-Sisi regime surge to power. Il manifesto reached the writer by phone in London, where he’s participating in the Book Fair.
Let’s talk now about the brutal assassination in Cairo of Giulio Regeni and the attitude of the Egyptian authorities.
I think Italy’s commitment to get to the real perpetrators of this murder is totally understandable. For my part I can only express my deepest sympathy to the family of Giulio Regeni.
The Egyptian authorities have blamed common criminals. But Italians and even many Egyptians are pointing the finger at the state security services.