In Conversation with Alaa Al Aswany: Democracy is the Answer

Talk Monday 8 December 2014, 6:30 PM

Alaa Al AswanyIn nearly four years, Egypt has seen a revolution, the fall of a dictator, its first democratically elected president ousted by the military and the rise of a new leader. All this has been captured in the weekly columns of novelist Alaa Al Aswany for the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. He had for years been a critic of the Mubarak regime and was among the first in Tahrir Square, calling for democratic reform and demanding that Hosni Mubarak stand down.

In a new book Democracy is the Answer: Egypt’s Years of RevolutionAl Aswany brings together his newspaper columns to give a picture of Egypt’s recent history. He will be joining us in conversation with BBC Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, to reflect on events of the past four years, the divisions that they have created and the hope for the future.

Alaa Al Aswany originally trained as a dentist, and still has his own dental practice in Cairo. He worked for many years in the Yacoubian Building in Cairo, which gave its name to his debut novel. The Yacoubian Building was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2006, has sold over one million copies worldwide and was the bestselling novel in the Arab world for over five years. He is also the author of Chicago and Friendly Fire.

Photograph: Eamonn McCabe