Interview with shortlisted author Mohamed Rabie


Mohamed Rabie

Where were you at the shortlist announcement and what was your reaction to the news?

That day I was at home getting ready to go to work. Sherif Joseph the head of Dar Tanweer in Egypt told me the news. I was a little surprised and asked him if he was sure.


What does it mean to you to be shortlisted?

Mainly, it means that my readership has expanded to include Arab readers whom the novel hadn’t reached prior to the shortlist.


Why do you write? And for whom?

I write to raise questions that I don’t have answers for. Writing is a way of getting rid of one’s worries.


Do you have writing rituals?

I don’t have any particular rituals. Sometimes I turn on some music, sometimes I write in different places; but calmness is what I always look for when writing.


Which writers have influenced you, as a novelist?

There is Naguib Mahfouz of course. Gamal El Ghitany’s works have influenced me for many years. And from the Europeans, there are Umberto Eco and Jose Saramago.