Egyptian journalist and writer Ibrahim Eissa has restarted his literary career with his new novel Mawlana, which tackles the phenomenon of sheikhs appearing on television in recent years.
Published by Bloomsbury Qatar, Eissa's novel explores the hidden world of sheikhs and their ties with security institutions, politicians as well as businessmen. Ultimately the novel aims to show how religion is misused in politics.
Speaking about his new novel, the renowned journalist says, "I started writing this novel in 2009, when I was in opposition to the former president, but complications prevented me from writing until the revolution broke out. It is one of my favorite novels to date."
Eissa joined the magazine Rose Al-Youssef when he was in his first year of college at the faculty of mass communications.
At times, his political stances have brought him into conflict with the state. Three newspapers for which he served as chief editor were closed down, and his novel Death of a Great Man was confiscated.
Eissa has been granted several international awards in journalism and freedom of expression, including the Jobran Towini Award in 2008 from the World Association of Newspapers, the Journalist of the Year award from the British Press Awards, and was one of the winners of Index on Censorship's 2010 Freedom of Expression Awards administered by Guardian Journalism.
In addition to his journalistic writings, Eissa is also a prolific author with novels such as Blood of Hussein, The Last Transfiguration of Mary, Blood on Breast, Death of a Great Man, and National Ghosts.