Bloomsbury Qatar Editor Ahmed Alaidy Speaks from Tahrir Sq. Cairo

In Arabic Publishing by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka

We reached Egyptian novelist Ahmed Alaidy shortly after midnight while he was standing amid the hundreds of thousands of protesters in Tahrir Sq. in the center of Cairo. Alaidy, who works as an editor with Bloomsbury Qatar in Doha had come back to Egypt, initially to attend the now shuttered Cairo International Book Fair. “I could have stayed in Qatar, but after everything was cut off, I knew I had to come back and check on my family. I’m not sure that I would have been able to sleep.”

Alaidy says the atmosphere in the square is largely one of frustration following President Mubarak’s speech earlier today in which he said he would remain in power until the next election, when he would not run. “What’s going on is that we have the most stupid President in the world, ever,” said Alaidy, an experimental novelist who cites Chuck Palahniuk among his influences. “If there were a prize for the stupidist, he would win. It’s just unbelievable and frustrating.”

Al-Aidy went on to explain that he expects Mubarak’s rule to last no longer than Friday, when a march is being planned that will end at the President’s home. “He should just quit his job and let his vice-president stand it. Of course, the fear is now that the Muslim Brotherhood will jump in and rule over the country. They are not the majority of the people, but they are the most organized.”¬†As for his personal plans, Al-Aidy is in a “wait-and-see” mode. “I’ve already delayed my travel back to Qatar, but the truth is that I won’t be able to function with what is going on here.”

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.