Meet the 2017 Authors Sahar Naja Mahfouz



Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the 2017 Festival?

As usual, the Festival has a selection of marvelous authors, I am so honored to be able to meet most of them during the days of the Festival and the social activities. I am so looking forward to meet Badriah Al Bishr as I love her writings and the freedom she has given herself in her books. I’m also looking forward to meet Tamim Barghouti, the Palestinian young poet, and his great father Mourid, I believe their sessions will be memorable by all means.

Which book has inspired you the most?

Many books inspired me during the years, and mostly the non-fiction books, but lately I was so touched by Ishkel the newest story of Inas Abassi, and by Misk El Ghazal of Hanan El Sheikh.

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

The first thing, well the prayer is a must and I ask Allah for forgiveness and health for myself and my family. I also have a notebook near my bed, so I usually wake up with a thought that has to be written immediately.

What is your life’s motto?

Smile to the world, and the world will smile back.

Our theme for the 2017 Festival is Journeys. Can you tell us which journeys in your life have been most memorable? 

I was astonished by Sri Lanka, never thought the country would be that beautiful and generous. The culture, the fruit trees, the tea plantation, the sea and the mountains. I believe we usually have a stereotype of a country in our mind, but my visit broke it into pieces. That was a journey to remember for sure.