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A press interview with the writer Mustafa Nasr

Tariq Saeed Ahmed
2020 / 2 / 13

Egyptian novelist Mustafa Nasr:
Who made "Israel" were conspirators of the Arabs
The Jews lived in Egypt before the Arabs came to it and participated in building the Egyptian character
After the Lavon scandal, the state questioned all the Jews of Egypt
The Jew is present in world literature, and in Egypt they portray the Jew typically, silly
Religions are affected by the majority religion in the country in which they live



The Egyptian novelist Mustafa Nasr presented his latest novel "The Jews of Alexandria" published by the Egyptian-Lebanese House in a dramatic context that extends its roots in a piece of modern Egyptian history with a creative vision that characterized "Nasr" as he discussed the social dimensions between the residents of the city of Alexandria, and divided his novel into three Time slides, using his soft language to navigate between times that brought with it a bundle of notable events, so the first part of the novel took place in the era of the Governor Saeed bin Muhammad Ali Pasha, "the ruler of Egypt", the novel "The Jews of Alexandria" comes after a set of literary works by the Alexandrian writer Mustafa Nasr. For about half a century. "I love art in general, I love reading literature, I love poets and I feel that God gave them a very high talent - like painters and musicians - my pleasure to live in the middle of my books and I only want this," said Egyptian novelist Mustafa Nasr. I met him and this dialogue was:


The novel weaves around the Jewish character, stereotypical convergences approaching the image of the Egyptian Jew´-or-the insane .. Did you want that to indicate that the modern history of Egypt is different in one way´-or-another from the reality of the Jewish personality compared to his presence in any other civilization?
The Jews lived in Egypt before the Arabs came to it and participated in building the Egyptian personality, and they were an integral part of the Egyptian society, and most of them loved Egypt and wished they had not left it - but the changes that occurred after the planting and the establishment of Israel overthrew this safety, and the trust between the government of the July 52 Revolution was broken. , And the Jews. Which left them to Egypt.

From the reality of the novel, you tried to refer to the Jews as an important part of Egypt s social history .. In your assessment to what extent?
During the monarchy, the state in Egypt treated the Jews as part of the fabric of Egypt, and some took over the ministry like Qatawi Pasha, and contributed to the Egyptian economic revival - and after the revolution of July 52, some of them were forced to leave Egypt, which is sad and unwilling to do so. But exportation led to the taking of their factories and banks. And I think that the state dealt with this issue in a way that harmed the country first. After the Lavon scandal, the state questioned all the Jews of Egypt.


The events of the novel are reflected in the current Egyptian situation .. Was the "Jews of Alexandria" a rooting for the greedy and greedy character through the central Jewish personality in the novel?
The novel did not say this - it portrayed love-loving and greedy characters like Amir and John, and there were characters who did not show any misuse´-or-exploitation like Faraj s character - Amir s chariot driver and his wife.

The novel begins in 1862 with Governor Said, then-ruler of Egypt, from him, and granted him many lands, so his relatives begin to plot against him .. Did you want to say that Israeli society is on the basis of a conspiracy?
Those who made Israel were conspiring against the Arabs, especially the Palestinians, but rather conspired against their people in the Arab countries, and what they did in Palestine harmed the Jews of the Arab countries. And they were implementing a political desire to separate Egypt from the Levant, and this was Napoleon s opinion after he invaded and approached Egypt.

The presence of the Jews did not stop from the Egyptian literature, so it appeared in the literature of Naguib Mahfouz, while the Jews occupied the literature of Ihsan Abdul-Quddus and others from the book .. Was your last novel "Alexandria Jews" in addition to this literary legacy´-or-is it moving in another -dir-ection?
The Jew is present in world literature, and in Egypt they portray the Jew typically, silly, as he has a big nose - and a sniff in his words, and he is stingy. And I think I came out of this framework, I dealt with Jews, who were in different forms from what they claim about them, but the circumstances of their lives made them do jobs that Muslims and Christians do not accept, as they have lived in "Rohanty" - leaving them with "jewelry"´-or-anything of value, and borrow from them The amount you pay in interest.

The idea of killing "John" the barber and setting up a shrine for him becomes a shrine for Jews in Alexandria from all over the world ... an idea that indicates something that seems somewhat mysterious?
Religions are affected by the religion of the majority in the country in which they live, meaning Indian Muslims were affected by Hinduism and other religions there, and Muslims in America and Europe are affected by Christianity - the religion of the majority there - as well as Christianity and Judaism in Egypt, affected by the rituals of Muslims, so the shrines of Christians and Jews are not different from the shrines of Muslims, and this is clear In the shrine of Abu Mat. I was impressed by what they were doing at the birth of Abu Matha when I wrote about the John Mausoleum.
Anwar Sadat s character appears in the second part of the novel and contacts a Jewish merchant in order to obtain bombs for anti-British revolutionaries. When he becomes president of the republic later, he meets the daughter of that merchant (jewel), with whom she has a good relationship, and supports her to become one of the most important businesswomen .. Did you want in this context to indicate the extent of social culture being affected by politics?
Sadat was influenced by the kings of time, especially those mentioned in A Thousand and One Nights - he played the role of the head of the tribe, and pretended to be religious to affect people - so what is easier to enter people s hearts through religion. In the novel there are many illegal gifts and contradictions of logic and truth. John is happy to give land that he does not own in the Tabiah area, and King Fouad gives his friend Hassan Badawi Pasha a land in Tabiah. Sadat gives away a jewel of huge money that he does not own.


Have you written your novel "The Jews of Alexandria" and you intend to turn it into a TV´-or-movie drama?
When writing any novel´-or-story that I am only busy with its artistic issues - I do not care what will happen to her after finishing writing it - will it be published´-or-not? From a novel: In Al Hamamel filmed a police officer who mistreated people, which led to the Interior Ministry s refusal to turn it into a TV series, despite the enthusiasm of many -dir-ectors. And I did not grieve, what concerns me is its success as a footballer.


How do you see the reality of Egyptian culture now?
The late Abd al-Rahman al-Abnudi said: Sometimes I doubt my knowledge of poetry when I see a very good poet besieged by this intense level of ignorance. Ignoring an entire critical school, hidden behind it is bad intent and unlimited conspiracy.
This is the case with cultural reality - they distribute the instruments of forgiveness - for novelists: so and so and so, and poets: so and so and so. If a real talent emerges, it will be obscured and attempted to remove it from the path.




What is your last literary work?
I finished writing a novel entitled "Eyes of the Sea" - about a Bahri neighborhood that I love so much - and another novel that I almost finished writing about the early pension that I suffered and many Egyptian families suffered from, and I did not come up with a suitable name for it yet.

Mostafa Nasr is a Egyptian novelist and storyteller born in Alexandria. His family came from Upper Egypt, a member of the Egypt Writers -union-, a member of the Story Club in Cairo, a member of the Arts, Literature and Social Sciences Authority in Alexandria, and a member of the Internet Writers -union-. The novel “Hamamel” was translated into Russian, and part of it was translated To the French language, the Federation of Egypt and the Arab Writers chose the novel "Jabal Naasa" to translate many foreign languages within the translation project adopted by the Arab Writers -union-, and the story of "a case of killing" turned into a dramatic evening, presented in the second channel on the Egyptian TV, -dir-ected by Abdel Hamid Ahmed and represented Sayyid Ziyan, Fatima al-Tabi` and Muhammad Dr. Sharaf and others, as well as -convert-ing four short stories to short feature films, "Next to the Sick Man" -dir-ected by Ahmed Rashwan. Basem: “The Next Morning” starring: Caroline Khalil, Akram Mustafa, and Hanan Mutawa, “The Nightmare” -dir-ected by actress and -dir-ector Dunia Screenplay and Dialogue by Ahmed Abdel Fattah, and “Hard Time” -dir-ected by Tariq Ibrahim. He received many literary awards, including the Cairo Story Club Award for his collection of stories "Wojooh" as the best story collection issued during 2003. The book was published by the Writers -union- in association with the Book Authority. He also received the first prize in the novel - the Story Club Competition - Cairo in 1983 for the novel Al-Juhaini. In addition to the Supreme Council of Culture award for the article "Justin and the Israeli personality. In the field of children s literature, he published stories and scenarios in several magazines such as" The Little Arab "," Baraem al-Iman "," Aladdin "," Qatar Al-Nada ", and Majed, Adventurer, Seed, Anwar and more.
Several literary publications have been issued to him, including the novel “Ascending Above the Smooth Wall”, “Awakening Pens” 1977, “Partners” Publications of the Alexandria -dir-ectorate of Culture 1982, and “Jabal Naasa” First Edition of the Supreme Council of Culture 1983, and “Al-Juhaini” series Talents 1984, and "Hamamel" novels, Al-Hilal 1988, “Al-Bir Street”, literary voices, 1995, Culture Palaces Authority, “Al-Najawiya”, Dar Al-Mustaqbal Press 1996, Alexandria. 67 novel by the Book Authority 1999, “Thirst for Nights”, and “Jews of Alexandria”, the Egyptian Lebanese House , And a number of short stories including "a wedding in the glow of the sun", "faces", "birds", "one room"




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