Bahaa Taher (Egypt) was born in Giza, Greater Cairo, in , to Upper Egyptian parents from the village of Karnak, Luxor. He holds postgraduate diplomas in. Bahaa Taher was born in Cairo, Egypt. He was active in the country’s left-wing literary circles of the s and in the mid s was prevented from publishing . Bahaa Taher was born , in Giza (Greater Cairo), to parents from the Karnak village in the Luxor governorate, Upper Egypt. He graduated from the literature.

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His father was an Arabic school teacher who died when Taher, the youngest of eight, was Taher returned to Egypt in and is now considered one of the most important novelists in the country. I can’t see a society, just individuals. Love in Exile echoes the disappointment tqher a people whose hopes for peaceful and meaningful lives are undermined by powers beyond their reach.

In Taher’s view, the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood – the strongest opposition, with a fifth of seats in the assembly – thrives “because all other ideologies have collapsed, and people can’t live without hope. One of the most widely-read novelists in the Arab world, he is a captivating story-teller, appreciated for the precision and economy of his writing. Isolated by the surrounding vastness of the desert, the oases and its inhabitants are a microcosm of competing attitudes.

Al-Hob fi al-Manfa Love in Exile widely acclaimed novel, described by I’tidal Osman as “an expansive vision that encompasses world and homeland, north and south, self and other” The point of light Sunset Oasis His sixth novel is set in 19th century Egypt at the beginning of the British occupation of the country. For Seymour Hersh Bahaa Taher was sacked as a radio journalist in Egypt in the s and driven into exile.

As a student, Taher believed in the principles behind the Officers Revolution, which put an end to the year-long British occupation and the royal status of the year-old Mohammed Ali dynasty. Women are also casualties in his fiction.

That’s why a younger generation is not as brave. The award was announced during the international book fair there, now a joint venture with Frankfurt, aimed at stimulating publishing in the region, with zero tolerance of rampant book piracy. The novel probes the possible motivations behind this bizarre act of vandalism. In addition, he has published several books of short stories, essayistic works, as well as numerous translations from English and French. Now 75 years old, Taher recently withdrew from Kifayya to concentrate on writing.


Born in Cairo inTaher bahhaa summers in Karnak, his parents’ village near Luxor. Archives Texts Articles Bahaa Taher: Bahaa was active in the left-wing and avant-garde literary circles of the s and was one of the writers of the Gallery 68 movement.

Bahaa Taher

He lives in Zamalek, gahaa an island in the Nile, with his wife of 17 years, Stefka, a Russian interpreter of Greek and Slovenian descent. If it was a free election, they’d have won His travels took him to Africa and Asia and later also to Switzerland, where he worked as a translator for the United Nations in Geneva.

When I met faher in Cairo in January, he was a heavy smoker. Set in the late 19th century, at the bhaa of British colonial rule, the story of officer Mahmoud plays out at the Siwa Oasis and acts as parable about current conditions in the Arab world.

In a sensitive, often imaginatively distorted portrayal he illustrates the changing relations between Copts and Muslims in a village not far from Luxor. For the author, the award has a credibility that others lack.

PWF | Bahaa Taher: Of Hope and Remembrance

Taher was spurred by the invasion of Iraq, which he vehemently opposed, to explore bahsa occupations, of Egypt by Britain, and of Berber lands by Egyptian Arabs. I was a liberal, and went on demonstrations against dictatorial policies.

The Arabic Booker prize was launched to some swingeing attacks in the Arab tager, with complaints about aping western models, and alleged geographical bias there were two Egyptians and no Gulf writers on the shortlist of six.

He has two daughters from an earlier marriage, and two grandsons. The prize will change that. Inthis Egyptian police chief dynamited part of the ancient Ammon-Ra temple complex whose oracle Alexander the Great consulted. Taher is co-founder of the opposition Kifaya movement, which was founded in by intellectuals and campaigned for political change and against the rule of Hosni Mubarak.

After attending Cairo University, he helped found Cairo Radio’s cultural programme inmeeting Naguib Mahfouz the Nobel laureate among other writers, and producing radio drama, from Greek tragedy to Samuel Beckett.

Barred by censorship from writing inhe emigrated in It’s when you don’t know the other that you’re afraid. Series; Matbu’at al-Jadid, 7 Cairo; Dar Shahdi li-l-Nashr, His first collection of stories, Al Khotouba The Engagement had invoked, according to Sabri Hafez, “an extremely strange, nightmarish world, which is nevertheless presented in very ordinary language, as if its strangeness were neither surprising nor lamentable”.


When asked why he abandoned the relative comfort of Switzerland to return to Egypt, Taher says: Of Hope tahfr Remembrance. Taher’s Sunset Oasis, published in Cairo last November, was chosen out of novels from 18 countries. While abroad, he followed Egyptian affairs closely, noting the growing gap between rich and poor, Muslim and Christian.

Taher, aged 73, spent 14 years in Geneva as a UN translator before returning to Cairo inand is fluent in English. When asked if he still feels that youth holds the key to a better Egypt, Taher offers a fervent: He studied history and literature among other subjects at the University of Cairo.

The emancipated women of the s were not rewarded at all. Whilst the conflict of the main character between rebellion and obedience may be timeless, the multiple perspectives, which, amongst others, include bzhaa voice of Alexander the Great, are historically specific.

The USA is still very racist. For Mahmoud, who shatters the glorious past to open people’s eyes to the present, it is a bitter irony that “our ancestors were great men, but their grandchildren are fit only for occupation”.

I couldn’t write for newspapers or bahxa.

Bahaa Taher (Author of Sunset Oasis)

His illiterate mother spun mesmerising tales about families and vendettas in Luxor, “her paradise lost”. In response to insidious sectarianism, Taher wrote My Aunt Safiyya and the Monasterya tight yet lyrical novel evoking the tolerant Egypt of his youth. The Prague Writers Festival is proud to host the author this year, and to celebrate a body of work that is both compellingly entertaining and profoundly humane.

Few Arabic novelists can earn a living from their books. taer

A storyteller and social commentator Taher lost his job in radio broadcasting and was prevented from publishing in the mid s in Sadat’s Egypt.