An Introduction to the History of Education in Modern Egypt by J.Heyworth- Dunne

By J.Heyworth- Dunne

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I will become the talk of the town. I will cause a lot of clamour. Even those who do not read will read me. It will be great, smashing, wild. 5 With the ball on their side of the field, the literati mounted a vigorous attack on Faruq Husni, whose ministerial tenure is punctuated with foul plays from which he has always risen unruffled. Immediately following the outbreak of the crisis, a group of Egyptian intellectuals issued a statement entitled “Against Oppression and Censorship”, criticizing the minister’s position and declaring their intended boycott of the cultural activities at the Cairo International Book Fair scheduled to open on 24 January 2001.

Thus begins Sharaf’s journey and Sharaf’s problems. Rumours circulated within the literary milieu to the effect that Sonallah Ibrahim had plagiarized from another work. Soon Al-Arabi published a brief article that confirmed the rumours: Writer Fathi Fadl Accuses: Sharaf Sonallah Ibrahim is copied from The Cell Novelist Fathi Fadl is now preparing to sue novelist Sonallah Ibrahim and will appeal to the Writers’ Union to strip the latter of his membership. (. ) This has triggered an enormous amount of surprise and disbelief in the literary and cultural milieux given the alleged accusation against a writer of Sonallah Ibrahim’s stature.

Had fallen out of bounds. 18 Al-Shuryan asks whether the time has not come for the political field to renounce its jurisprudence over the written word. Given the nature of the game and the position of the cultural players within the field, the answer is a simple and straightforward no. The cultural is political. 2 An eventful new year indeed, for it marked a crucial change in Ibrahim’s politics and strategies of publication; a change which this chapter will read attentively as a revelatory moment in recent developments of the literary field in Egypt today, and as an instructive episode where the field’s internal structure, positions and battles are concerned.

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