Alexandria with its famous library used to be one of the world’s foremost literary centres. In modern times we have become acquainted with writers such as Naguib Mahfouz or Nawaal el Saadawi. Then Alaa el Aswani popularised the Arabic language with his widely spread books. How is the Egyptian literature scene doing today?
Flying from Cairo to Beirut takes only a bit over one hour but the differences are immediately noticeable. The capital of this tiny country – encompassing ancient history, the sea as well as the mountains – is a mixture of Paris and Cairo. A Western city with a dust of the Orient.
It’s in Lebanon – one of the world’s most sectarian countries – that I met my first peace-journalist: Vanessa Bassil, a 26-year old engaged young woman. In this interview from Beirut I’ll try to explain her ideas.