Arts

Egyptian author outraged by Israel stealing 7 of his books

CAIRO – 1 August 2017: Egyptian writer/ journalist Essam Abdel Fattah sues the National Library of Israel for stealing seven of his books and displaying them for free download without his consent or knowledge, he explained to Egypt Today on Monday.
The author has only filed charges against the library four months ago after he contacted the head of the library six months ago, demanding him to take Abdel Fattah’s name and books off the library online.
The Egyptian writer has awaited response for two months, but he has not received any, and as a result Abdel Fattah has resorted to legal actions by filing charges at the General Prosecutor’s office.
“It all started when an editor in chief of some newspaper asked one of his journalists to write about Egyptian iconic leader Omar al-Mokhtar and has recommended two of my books that I have written on Mokhtar; as the journalist was searching online he found the books as PDF form available among a total of seven books on the Israeli library and reported this to his editor in chief,” Abdel Fattah told Egypt Today.
He added that the editor in chief has contacted him and accused Abdel Fattah of contradiction as he assumed that there are culture ties between Abdel Fattah and Israel. Abdel Fattah has always been known for calling against the “Normalization” with the Israeli state, and refuses to recognize it as he believes in the Palestinian case, he explained in outrage.
“I was surprised and irritated to find seven of my books stolen and available for free download, and yet the head of the library has not yet responded and meanwhile I was receiving several criticisms and being called a ‘contradictive author’ by people who thought I am acting against my beliefs,” he added.
The seven books revolve around historic characters that are deemed controversial to Israel and have called against Zionism through their lives including former Egyptian President Abdel Nasser, Omar al-Mokhtar, Muammar Gaddafi, Omar al-Basheer, and a book about Abdel Hamid al-Deeb, among others.
The legal actions taken were as a step by Abdel Fattah who wanted to prove that publishing his books on the library was against copyrights and without his consent. The case was transferred from the General prosecutor’s office to the Internet Intelligence investigation office that confirmed that the books were stolen.
“My lawyer sent a warning letter to the Israeli ambassador in Egypt, mentioning the case and that my name was attributed to a denounced political system without my consent and has affected my credibility as an established author,” Abdel Fattah pointed out.
Author of 49 books, Abdel Fattah has been writing for over 20 years and has been awarded for his works locally and regionally. He stated that such incident severely damages his credibility as an established author and further holds negative financial and literary impacts.
“The literary impact involves devaluating my principles and damaging my copyrights, while the financial impact involves the loss of sales that I am not receiving due to the accessibility of the books online worldwide,” said Abdel Fattah.
Among the 10 largest libraries worldwide, The National Library of Israel is located in Jerusalem and accommodates several intellectual and cultural activities and serves national cultural center of Israelis, scholars, and communities’ abroad.
The library also provides information technology and several collections through internet based on copyrights rules, according to the library’s official website.



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