Alaa Al-Aswany has been one of the most outspoken critics of the military council over the past few months. And as an internationally-renowned author and columnist for Al-Masry Al-Youm he has the advantage of both being able to get away with saying more than the average person, and having a widely-read public space in which to do it from. I noticed that his column from yesterday was something a bit off-beat: a conversation between “two important men” in Egypt. Essentially, Al-Aswani imagines what a conversation about recent events would look like if taking place between two former regime members (he asks us to guess from precisely whom at the end). It’s a bit rambling, hyperbolic, repetitive, and towards the conclusion, increasingly random, but it’s still very curious how much of this satire might actually reflect the perspectives and rationales of former regime members peeking out their foggy post-revolution windows at the chaos below.
The translation that originally appeared below has been removed. A recent email from Al-Aswany’s agent informs us that ”[t]here is an exclusive online publication arrangement for this piece, and for all of Alaa Al Aswany’s pieces that appear in Al-Masry Al-Youm, with another online publication. Your publication infringes on their rights. Kindly confirm by return that you have removed Alaa Al Aswany’s piece from your blog directly”
So, there you have it, removed, and a potential legal issue averted, insha’ala.
The good news is that Al-Aswany’s weekly columns from Al-Masry Al-Youm are translated and appear, though regrettably with some inconsistent lag time, here: http://www.worldaffairsjournal.org/blogs/alaa-al-aswany
As you can see, they have posted the article that was previously on this page – the collective store of knowledge (of the English world) remains intact.