Egypt: “Kleenex” Literature at the Cairo International Bookfair

With more than 15 new titles, Egyptian bloggers took the 2009 Cairo International Book Fair by storm. Conventional writers label bloggers’ literature as “Kleenex” Literature. Ghada Abdel Aal spoke up on behalf of bloggers.

Ahmed Al Sabbagh wrote:

إقيمت يوم الخميس 22 يناير 2009 ندوة عامة بعنوان أدب المدونين .. صرخات شباب أم ورق كلينكس أدار الندوة الأستاذ : يوسف القعيد وشارك فيها من المدونين غادة عبد العال و ميادة مدحت و شادى أصلان
A seminar titled “Bloggers’ Literature … the screams of youth or Kleenex?” was held on Thursday 22 January, 2009 at the annual Cairo International Bookfair. The seminar was organized by the renowned writer Youssef Al Ka'eed and bloggers Ghada Abdel Aal, Shady Aslan, and Mayada Medhat spoke of blogging.

Ahmed Al Sabbagh also linked to Ghada's video [AR] where she started by defining bloggers’ literature as follows:

Like any other form of literature, blogging expresses a human being's thoughts, feelings, and inhibitions.

She also quoted Tawfiq El-Hakim describing the essence of real literature saying

It is the open air literature; the literary expression of freedom and passion; words that reach out from one heart to another exposing the depth of the human psyche in freedom, honesty, and sincerity. Tawfiq El-Hakim also said that our share of such kind of literature is minimal just as much as our share of honesty and openness is minimal – This is exactly what we as bloggers do.

Then she moved on to defending the simplicity of blogging:

In an interview, Mr. Youssef Al Ka'eed said that if you need 10 words to express a thought then use just 10 words to express that thought. There is no need to show off our lexicon, since our aim as writers is to deliver our messages in the most comprehendible form. Hence, we are not shallow … we are merely simple and writing a light fun entertaining book is not a crime.

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