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Sonallah Ibrahim

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Sonallah Ibrahim was born in 1937. After studying law and drama at Cairo University, he became a journalist in Cairo until his arrest and imprisonment in 1959 as an advocate for the Left. Upon his release in 1964, he briefly returned to journalism in Egypt before moving to Berlin to work for a news agency and to Moscow where he studied cinematography. He returned to Egypt in 1974 and since then has dedicated all his time to writing. 

Sonallah Ibrahim has written a number of novels and short stories, as well as a dozen children's books. He has also translated a variety of books into arabic. 
His book Cairo from edge to edge is a rich and highly original portrait of a city as seen through the lens of French photographer Jean Pierre Ribire and Sonallah's pen. 

Ibrahim is well known for his documentary novels that employ a literary style unique in Arabic writing. 

In 1998 his novel "Sharaf" was awarded best Egyptian novel.
In 1999 he was a visiting associate professor in the Department of Near Eastern Studies of the University of California at Berkeley. 

Sonallah's books have been translated into many languages.



Selected Works
 

Some of these books are on sale on :
 Sonallah Ibrahim Bookshelf

Tilka Al Raiha (The Smell of It) 

His first  novella - published in 1966 - which he wrote after spending several years in one of Nasser's political prisons. The novella paved the way for the emergence of a new style of Arabic literature which relies less on wordiness and more on emotions and feelings. Because of its strong political messages, it was banned immediately after publication and was unavailable for 10 years. 

Star of August   Syria 1974, Cairo 1986

The committee   Beirut 1981, Cairo 1998

Tells the story of an intellectual who confronts a mysterious committee which serves the interests of the multinationals. The satirical novel ends in the writer biting his arm and eventually eating himself!
The book's translation into
English will appear this Nov. by the Syracuse U.press.

Beirut Beirut  Dar elmostakbal el-Arabi 1984

Zaat  1992

Sharaf  - Hilal 1997, 2000

Awarded best Egyptian novel in 1998.

Warda    2000.

Amrikanli  2003


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