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Thursday, 27 February 2020

Egyptian writer El-Aswany denies giving nod to Israeli publisher to release his novel

El-Aswany's novel was released on Wednesday in Hebrew without the author's permission, according to the writer's Twitter page

Mohammed Saad , Thursday 31 Mar 2016
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'The Yacoubian Building,' Hebrew Book Cover (Photo: Other)
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Renowned Egyptian novelist Alaa El-Aswany denied on Thursday giving permission to an Israeli publisher to publish a Hebrew version of his novel The Yacoubian Building.

El-Aswany said in a Twitter statement that he “did not – at any time – sign a contract with any Israeli publisher to publish” his works.

Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee announced on his Facebook page on Wednesday that El-Aswany's novel was translated into Hebrew by Bruria Horowitz and published by Tobi publishing house in Israel, with Adraee posting the cover of the Hebrew edition of the book.

This is not the first time an Israeli publisher released El-Aswany's works reportedly without his permission.

In 2010, El-Aswany said he would sue the Israel-Palestine Centre for Tolerance for publishing the same novel without his approval.

First published in Arabic in 2002, The Yacoubian Building – which was made into a film in 2006 and a TV series in 2007 – shot El-Aswany to prominence and remains his most well-known work.

El-Aswany is one of Egypt's most well-known writers, with his books translated into English, French, Spanish and German, among other languages.

He is also a frequent commentator on Egyptian politics and is known for his opposition to the rule of ex-president Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted after mass protests in 2011.

El-Aswany also supported the toppling of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013, and has been critical of sitting president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi. 

El-Aswany was included in the Jordanian Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre's list of the top 500 most influential Muslims in the world, and in 2012 he was awarded the Tiziano Terzani Italian literary prize for his book " Did the Egyptian Revolution Go Wrong?" 

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