Arab, Western Publishers Have a Responsibility to Egypt

In Growth Markets by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka For obvious reasons, if you want customer service this week from Kotobarabia, Egypt’s predominant e-book store, you’re out of luck. The lifting of censorship will bring a flood of new books, but it’s up to Arab and Western publishers to ensure there’s a pluralism of views. Ramy Habeeb, founder and CEO of Kotobarabia, who spoke to us from …

Should Extremist Views Be Available to Readers in Egypt?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Now that Egypt is close to eliminating censorship and opening its citizenry to a plentitude of political and religious views, the question arises of whether or not it is appropriate to have books with the most extreme views on sale in bookshops. In today’s lead story, Ramy Habeeb argues against censorship, saying that all points-of-view should be …

Are Graphic Novels and Comics More Dangerous than Prose Novels?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka Today’s lead story looks at how graphic novelists are pushing boundaries and challenging taboos in the Middle East. In one case, that of Magdy El Shafee’s groundbreaking Metro, the Egyptian courts objected to its depiction of corruption and criminality, fined the author and publisher, and had the book pulled from store shelves. Surely, this is not an …

Does Literature Still Have the Power to Irritate Powers-that-be?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka In today’s lead story Daniel Kalder writes about Russia’s Ad Marginem Press, a “underground” publisher of controversial and politically provocative works of fiction and nonfiction. Ad Marginem publisher Alexander Ivanov says the press may have something of an advantage in attracting an audience, in so far as “literature [in Russia] may still -– as it did in …

Frankfurt Preview: Director Juergen Boos Discusses Economy, Rights, China

In Feature Articles by Edward Nawotka

By Edward Nawotka “If you’re talking about an economic crisis, then you have to talk about an economic crisis hitting American and UK publishers alone,” said Frankfurt Book Fair director Juergen Boos on the eve of the opening of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. “Latin America has already come back from its economic crisis, which it experienced ten years ago, …