|Image courtesy of the Wall Street Journal|
Author Alaa Al Aswany, writer of the book The Yacoubian Building, was an important leader during Egypt’s revolution in 2011, also known as the Arab Spring that spread throughout the Arab World. Al Aswany himself is an author who is also a dentist, which brings him into contact with many types of people and gives him a keen insight into human nature, which is shown in his books.
Al Aswany was a key part of the demonstrations that took place across the country. He was there during each and every one of the eighteen days that the demonstrations took place. He helped demonstrators focus and work together while in Tahrir Square, as he led them to call for officials to investigate the Murabak family and look into charging them with corruption. This demand was met, as officials began to investigate the finances of the Murabak family, and Murabak himself was later required to go in court in Cairo.
One of Al Aswany’s most memorable moments during the revolution was his discussion on a television chat show with then Interim Prime Minister Ahmed Shafik. Al Aswany asked many insightful and important questions during the chat show, but the prime minister became increasingly more agitated during the discussion. Shafik eventually became angry at the many questions that Al Aswany had for him, and began to shout at him, declaring that he was a great patriot. Al Aswany’s answer for this sudden outburst that he, as an Egyptian citizen, had the right to ask such questions. The Prime Minister was later fired from his position.