Open Letter to Naguib Mahfouz

Dear Naguib,

I love and admire your work, and I’m delighted that you’re thinking of re-publishing Children of Gebelawi. But why on earth would you seek the permission of Al-Azhar before re-releasing it? Why would you want the preface to be written by a member of the Muslim Brotherhood? When you negotiate your freedom of speech with a clerical body, you endanger it not just for yourself, but for every young author who is trying to make her voice heard. Do not let them tell you what you can and can’t publish.

Yours,

Laila

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