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It took those huge crowds in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to bring down former president Hosni Mubarak. But for many in that crowd, a key turning point came in 2003.
That’s when, as journalist Robyn Creswell writes in Harper’s Magazine, author Sonallah Ibrahim declined a major state award, saying, “we no longer have any theater, cinema, scientific research, or education… instead … corruption and robbery are everywhere … and whoever speaks out is interrogated, beaten, and tortured. “The government offering the award, Sonallah concluded, “lacks the credibility to bestow it.”
Robyn Creswell is a contributing writer at Harper’s Magazine and poetry editor of the Paris Review. We speak with him about Egyptian novelists before and after the Egyptian revolution.