Gehan Shabaan

The dentist and the story that shook Egypt

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Dr Alaa Al Aswany's first published novel, The Yacoubian Building, provoked fury from the Egyptian regime, but has captured the imagination of the Egyptian public. Gehan Shabaan asks the bestselling author about his work and the film adaptation coming to Britain this month.

Any novel portraying Egyptian society as highly class divided and deeply corrupted by dictatorship was always likely to be controversial. But what special problems have you encountered, because The Yacoubian Building was both very popular and controversial?

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