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Maqtal al-rajul al-kabir (The Assassination of the Big Man),9789992195628

Maqtal al-rajul al-kabir (The Assassination of the Big Man)

Edition: 1st
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 4/11/2013
Publisher(s): Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing
Availability: This title is currently not available.


When Ibrahim Essa completed The Assassination of the Big Man in 1999, no-one wanted to publish it. As far as the Egyptian media was concerned, Essa was persona non grata: he wasn't allowed to write, and the State had closed Al-Dustour, the newspaper of which he was Editor-in-chief, and forbidden him from any kind of publishing. Essa didn't care. He printed his novel from his own pocket, making an agreement with a company to distribute it.
Essa waited a week, then another, but the novel was not distributed, and it couldn't be found anywhere. He found out that State Security officials had visited the distribution company, and had seized his book. So he asked for a copy of the seizure mandate. He was told that this sort of documentation didn't exist... The novel had been forbidden, seized: and that was that.
So he asked the distributor to send back the 3,000 copies of the novel that had been printed so that he could distribute them himself. He was told, however, that not a single copy of the novel was left. Forty-eight hours later, the director of the distribution company asked him to accept the proceeds from the sales of his novel.
It turned out that the distributor was determined to peddle the story that The Assassination of the Big Man had supposedly 'sold out' (that it vanished entirely, without trace) in just three hours, which is why Essa considers this his bestselling book!

Author Biography

Born in 1965, Ibrahim Essa is Egypt's leading independent editor, and has been described as a 'one-man barometer of Egypt's struggle for political and civic freedom'. Throughout his career, he has faced prosecution when his push for media freedom has fallen foul of the government. In 2010, he was fired from his position as editor of the independent newspaper Al Dostur, after new owners bought the paper; his popular satellite talk show was also taken off air. His sacking came in the midst of a wider media crackdown in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, when Mubarak's ruling National Democratic Party emerged victorious amid accusations of unprecedented vote rigging.
When Essa was sacked from his job in 2010, the novelist Alaa al Aswany wrote: 'Ibrahim Essa did not oppose the government; he opposed the system ... He called for real democratic change through free and fair elections and regular change at the top.'
His most recent novel, Mowlana, is a bestseller in Egypt.

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