January 31, 2008

Banned Books – الإله يقدم إستقالته فى إجتماع القمة

Posted in Books Reviews, English at 2:46 pm by Rou...

Can we portray God? Can we judge our creator? Can we accuse Him for all the crimes that are happening in the world? Can we portray His messengers with their real characters without any disguises and set imaginary conversations between them? Can we question the idea of creation and the fact of having a “GOD” in the first place?


Well… the Egyptian feminist, activist, and writer “Nawal El Saadawi” did all that and more in her Play “الإله يقدم إستقالته فى إجتماع القمة” or “God Resigns in the Summit Meeting” that was published in Egypt through “Madbouli” publishing house in January 2007.


Although the basic idea in most of her writings is linking the liberation of women and the human rights with the liberation of the country in terms of cultural, social and political aspects. However, usually, when the name of Nawal El Saadawi comes into context, it is always related to being charged with heresy and contempt of religions, which eventually resulted in putting her name on the “Death Lists” of the extremist fundamentalist groups.


The interesting thing about banning El Saadawi’s book is that it was banned by her own publisher, “Madbouli” publishing house, after it was already published because its owner found the book of impropriety and insulation to God. Every single copy of the book was shredded, and even El Saadawi wasn’t given a copy of her own book. Hajj Mohamed Madbouli, owner and manager of the publishing house, who took that decision and kept the manuscript of the novel, said the decision was not political and that the police only witnessed the destruction of the copies but did not initially request it.


The book is in the form of a Play that does not depend on building a dramatic plot rather than a philosophical point of view through which the author comprised the endless debate between religion, politics, ethics, and women rights.


The play includes one chapter with four scenes; its plot is mainly conversations between ten characters: GOD, Moses, Jesus, Prophet Mohammed, Abraham, Eve, Virgin Mary, the devil, and a character with the name “بنت الله” or “daughter of God”, in addition to Radwan – the Paradise gate keeper who was envisaged by the writer as the Private Secretary of God.


By and large, the controversy during the novel’s plot comes in the form of floundering between opposite ideas to reflect the reality that the writer calls for its reformation, even if this overhaul is going to be through penetrating such sanctuaries and shaking its stability.


I have read the book several times during the few past days, thanks to Meto for providing me with its soft copy, and on a very personal note, I believe that Nawal El Saadawi’s imagination went way too far this time; crossing every red, blue and purple line.


All the best,


On January 31, 2008



1 Comment »

  1. […] that I got really offended, but the fact is that while I was in the process of writing its review in the banned books series that the book discussion team posted a few months ago, I felt actually […]

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