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Mohamed ElBaradei

The former head of the UN nuclear watchdog is considering running for president in Egypt. But how is the popular ElBaradei linked to the First Lady of Syria (via one of Egypt’s most outspoken MPs)?

March 24, 2010 2:05 by

Alaa al-Aswany

Speculating on ElBaradei’s possible presidential run, the best-selling novelist Alaa al-Aswany told Reuters “This is a very important moment that will usher in an era of positive change for Egypt.”

Son of a famous Egyptian novelist, Aswany studied dentistry in Chicago – reportedly because he didn’t think writing would make him any money.

In a 2009 interview with The Observer, Aswany explained his decision to continue practicing dentistry: “The clinic is my window. I open it to see what is happening in the street. You can’t get disconnected from the street, as a writer… It is that relationship with the street that made you successful in the first place.”

One of the Arab world’s bestselling novelists, Aswany is the author of the extraordinarily popular novel The Yacoubian Building, an intimate portrayal of the very private lives of the inhabitants of a building in downtown Cairo. The influential work was adapted for the big screen by film director…


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