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.
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.
Sonallah's books have been translated into many languages.
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
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!
Beirut Beirut Dar elmostakbal el-Arabi 1984
Sharaf - Hilal 1997, 2000
Awarded best Egyptian novel in 1998.
© Arab World Books