Saturday 29 October 2022
Books – Mohamed Emara:
Writer Safinaz Kazem’s attack on the late writer Bahaa Taher sparked widespread controversy that still resonates on social media.
She posted on her personal account on the social networking site (Facebook) saying: “Bahaa Taher died, he was one of the cultural nightmares of my generation.
The publication prompted many intellectuals to attack its writer. The writer and novelist Ibrahim Abdul Majeed said: “Apart from Safinaz Kazem’s words about the late Bahaa Taher, all this praise and pity for him reflects the extent to which Baha Taher was, does not show hostility to anyone. One or more attacks him, so the terrible proportion is for praise.”
Abdul Majeed added: “This confirms to you the importance of not entering personal battles with anyone and not insulting anyone for a personal reason. This is how you win the sympathy of many even if they do not read to you. No old man will be able to block the way for future generations, as life moves forward, nor will God respond to his wishes for death. Adults only on time.
Writer Magda Al-Qadi wondered about the nature of the “obstruction” that Baha Taher caused to the “Kadhim” generation, and are prizes awarded or permitted? According to her comment, she continued: “Bahaa Taher is not a mediocre writer of talent in any way. His language, his works, and the reader’s love for him, despite his little production and his distance from the lights, bear witness to him. Glory be to God, for those who love eating in the dead because they are unable to respond.”
“Masrawy” contacted the writer and critic Safinaz Kazem, to ask about what she wrote about Baha Taher.
Safinaz said in exclusive statements to “Masrawy”: “The problem is that the demons of the universe and the demons of men and jinn did not understand my sentence, and the reaction to what I wrote is strange, and those who attacked me did not read anything by Baha Taher.”
She added: “I did not say anything about Baha Taher except that he was one of the nightmares of my cultural stage, because he was born in 1935 and I was born in 1937, and we are close in age and we have experienced each other, and the strangest thing was his control of the Supreme Council of Culture, and at the time of Abdel Nasser he was a Nasserist, and during the Sadat period I was He and a large group of intellectuals from whom Sadat imagined that we support the era that he does not like, and he traveled abroad, until the reign of Hosni Mubarak came, and he took hold of the Supreme Council of Culture, and I am a contemporary of it, and it is not necessary that I was harmed by him personally, but rather I was harmed by his unjust domination , over culture in Egypt, so he used to decide who rises, who does not rise, who receives a prize and who does not take a prize, and all these things are known by contemporaries, whether they are from the Supreme Council of Culture or from abroad.
And about not writing her opinion about the late writer Bahaa Taher in his life, “Kadhim” said: “I am the one who determines the time in which I express my opinions, because Saddam Hussein died, Pharaoh died, Al-Hajjaj bin Youssef Al-Thaqafi died, and many people died, and I will die, and we will all die, and death is not a rank that a person gives.” So rank and inviolability that he ruins the world, and if he died and his followers were silent and put their tongue in their mouth, I would have been silent, but what happened is that they (they sat slashing at each other) by saying the great, the beautiful, the mighty who did not look like the one who.. These are all lies that can deceive the contemporary generation, so I entered and said My opinion in the face of these lies.”
And she continued: “I said I do not compliment Bahaa, because he is a mediocre talent, and this is a critical opinion, no one disputes it with me. Awards and I see that her talent is average, while at that time there were people who should have taken prizes and did not take anything, such as Fathi Radwan, Hassan Suleiman and Muhammad Afifi, the author of the great novel (In the Ruins of Tamara) and I am not in competition with him and I am not a novelist but a critic.”
She said: “I am not in competition with him, even if people say that my writing is false and that I do not know how to write. People do not understand anything. I am defending my country, our culture and the rights of others, and that this man, in his period of dominance in the Ministry of Culture, robbed the rights of many people for the sake of his whims.” I am contemporaneous with it and not a party to it.”
And she added: “I replied to him while he was alive, and now I respond to those who lie after his death, and I do not have a problem with him, but I respond to those who say, ‘Oh, peace be upon his beauty, and this is a lie, and so I only said that it is a nightmare for my generation. I am personally wronged, but it was Egypt that was wronged when the talented people did not get their right to the awards.”
And about the end of disputes between people with death, she said: “Death does not end disputes and issues. Is the dispute between us and Hosni Mubarak over? No, it has not ended, because there are issues that end with death, such as personal issues such as marriage and others, and general issues such as losing and weakening the value of the homeland at every level. It ends with death, and I speak in my space, which is culture and criticism, in which this man abused Egypt, and I confronted him in his life and told him these words in the days when he was not present, in addition to other situations, I am just not satisfied with telling stories.
Safinaz Kazem recounted an incident that occurred between her and Bahaa Taher, saying: “Once I opposed him in a symposium and he did not respond to me at the symposium. He went to the Chairman of the Board of Directors, Makram Muhammad Ahmed, and made his office manager speak to me and reply to me, and I told them you are coming to answer me here? And for the record, my position is not the result of a personal problem with him. Rather, it is the result of a situation, and many say that he has good things now. I am a witness to history and a contemporary of it, and I know what it is and what it is.”
Regarding his obtaining the Booker Prize, she said: “He does not take the Booker Prize, but this is not a prize except when he takes it, and this is not evidence of superiority.”
On her accusation that she was upset because she did not receive awards, she said: “I do not want prizes, and I only received one award in my life and I am happy with it, and if I did not get it, I would not be sad, which is the award of Mustafa Amin in 1996.”
And about the quarrel with a number of intellectuals, she said: “I am my money and the society’s money. What happened to the repeated use of the title of intellectual with some people, and they became educated among people, why? Because the world is full of lies, because a group is the one who said and decided who gets fame.”
And she added, “I could not delete the post unless they deleted all the imposter and lies that they said about me, and if they said so-and-so died, may God have mercy on him, I would have deleted it. As for them, they wrote words that are not appropriate, and one of them wrote saying, “Ali the bitch, the wife of the junkie, and these are crawling insects, and I catch the fly killer and strike.”