Home > Censorship, Middle East, Surveillance > Egyptian student arrested carrying copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Egyptian student arrested carrying copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

By   10th November 2014.                Find Article Here:-

Police accuse Cairo student of filming security forces without permission and say they are unaware of book’s significance.

George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four
George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. 

Orwellian fiction and reality appeared to blur into one on Sunday when reports suggested that an Egyptian undergraduate had been arrested for possessing a copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Al-Masry al-Youm, Egypt’s leading private broadsheet, said a student identified only as Mohamed T had been caught in possession of the book at Cairo University, where a year-long wave of anti-government protests has seen several students killed by police, dozens expelled and hundreds sent to jail.

Government critics have likened the country’s return to strongman rule to the book’s plot, and social media users pounced on the story on Sunday evening.

Doubt was cast on the report when police stressed their collective lack of affinity for the western literary canon. While Mohamed T had indeed been in possession of Nineteen Eighty-Four at the time of his arrest, police said, they were unaware of its literary significance, and had instead accused him of filming security forces without their permission.

“None of us knows anything about this novel in the first place,” Mahmoud Farouk, the local investigations chief, claimed to Mada Masr, a Cairo-based news website.

Some nevertheless joked that it was only a matter of time before possession of Nineteen Eighty-Four became a reason for arrest. The book could be seen as particularly subversive in an Egyptian context, given the obvious parallels between Nineteen Eighty-Four’s critique of authoritarianism and the criticisms Egypt’s dissidents make of their government.

In Egypt, the regime claims to have seized power to save democracy and says its authoritarianism will build a freer future – an argument Orwell pre-empted more than 65 years ago when he wrote that many regimes in history “pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal”.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: