Egyptian composer wants to sue Saudi author over libel
Abdo Khal, the winner of the Arabic Booker, is to be sued by the Egyptian composer Mohammad Raheem over claims that Khal has defamed him in his novel 'She Throws Sparks'.
April 4, 2010 9:38 by Ben Flanagan
The Saudi author and winner of the Arabic Booker, Abdo Khal, is to be sued by the Egyptian music composer Mohammad Raheem who claims Khal has defamed him in his novel “She Throws Sparks.”
Raheem claims Khal has named a character in his book after him. The character under question is also an Arabic music composer called Mohammad Raheem who takes under his wing a prostitute in Jeddah called Layali.
Raheem has submitted his writ in Egypt, and has told the media that he will not give up his right to take this further and prove to his two daughters that he is not guilty of what is mentioned in the novel.
Raheem told Egyptian newspapers that he wants the book stopped from being sold, published and translated, that he wants the author’s name on a watch-list at Egyptian airports and that he wants to see him in jail.
He added that he will not hesitate to also lodge a complaint in Saudi Arabia.
Raheem has worked with popular Arab singers such as Amr Diyab, Elissa, Nancy Ajram, Miryam Faris and others.
Meanwhile, Abdo Khal told Al-Madinah newspaper that he has never heard of the music composer and that the similarity is simply a coincidence. “The name in the novel is fictional and helps the flow of the novel. I didn’t know him and I didn’t mean to insult or harm anyone intentionally.”
The case was brought to light in the television program, “The Book Juice,” presented by the Egyptian novelist Bilal Fadel last Sunday.
Abdo Khal won the $60,000 International Prize for Arabic Fiction (the Arab Booker) for his novel Spewing Sparks as Big as Castles, which is also known as She Throws Sparks. The book is published by Al-Jamal Publications.