Dr. Muhammad Muhammad al-Bakri, Number 77
The Writers Union is a platform for Egyptian thought and literature, entrusted with overseeing the dialogue between different literary movements and their leaderships. Formed undemocratically in 1975, the true writers broke away from the Union, and it was monopolized by those having no relation to literature. Successive leaders upheld this system, remaining in the administration for the whole of their lives and maintaining a syndicate whose only function was to supply them with money for their material interests. Thus they corrupted the literary establishment, and destroyed Egypt’s cultural strategy in the Middle East. The principle of government support for culture and intellectuals ended, and culture is no longer one of the most important manifestations of our civilization as it previously was. Our leadership remained thanks to the talents of this nation.
All the old sham leaders do not fall out of the range of the rampant corrupt relations in pre-Revolution society…Stop them…Don’t give them a chance to go back to their old ways…Practice your right, starting now, to influence domestic policy and to get involved in all types of national dialogue. Be on the lookout for all those who want to reproduce the previous system and work unabashedly on the independence of our Union. Uproot the weed of corruption that has taken root in the corners of the State, especially in the cultural and intellectual sector. Own your role in a new leadership that influences even the selection of the nation’s next president.
Let us achieve for our Union what we have been denied for decades by way of premeditation and surveillance, when we were taken over by either a traitor to our goals or an agent of those who fear our power.
Let us have an elected, rotating leadership in accordance with a public and transparent roster. It is upon us to ensure the General Assembly members’ participation in all decisions.
An Introduction to the Writer:
Dr. Muhammad Muhammad al-Bakri
Writer, novelist, and playwright
Among his literary works:
1.) The Labyrinth
2.) Hope Never Dies
3.)The Bridge of Gloomy Death
4.) Diary of a Rural Priest
5.) The Last Ray of Light
6.) The Father
7.) The Sad Sun of Autumn
8.) Allah…How Close He Is!! (Part One and Two), autobiographical novel
1.) After the Ascension
2.) The City of Lovers
3.) The Mother
4.) Pointed Hooves
5.) A Traveler Without a Train
6.) Ramses the King
7.) Barbed Wire
8.) A Tale From Nowhere
Short Story Collections:
1.) When We Lack Language
2.) My Mother is Not Dying
1.) Israel and Us: To where?
1.)Reflections on Love and Faith
2.) Reflections of Creation and Faith
3.) Reflections on National Unity and Faith
Dr. Muhammad Muhammad al-Bakri Number 77
My Electoral Program:
1.) The State is obligated to support the Union’s budget in the amount of 3 million pounds yearly; this is not too much for Egypt’s intellectuals and men of letters…The members’ pension should be 1,000 pounds monthly. For those exceeding the age of 75 or upon death, the pension decreases 100 pounds each year, its minimum being 350 pounds monthly (which is equal to the Sadat pension for destitute families). Members’ families inherit the pension.
2.) Comprehensive and free health care without a maximum limit at the biggest state hospitals associated with the Ministry of Health, the Armed Forces, and health insurance.
3.) To activate a membership card so that writers can get a 50% discount on all transportation means, as well as free entry to national and private sector theatre productions, the Opera House, and cinemas.
4.) To issue a weekly newspaper special to the Union to be distributed to the public.
5.) To establish a press worthy of the Union to print writers’ works, and likewise to establish our own publishing house.
6.) Creative writers have the right to obtain full-time grants for year or more, if needed, to stimulate their creative zeal and enrich our intellectual and cultural life.
7.) Writers have the right to obtain positions befitting them on radio and television programs, and all other publication mediums, for adequate remuneration.
8.) To create an outstanding website for the Union on the internet on which to post members’ works, and to coordinate with other electronic publishing houses around the world to publish writers’ creative works for a fee.
9.) To arrange retreats for writers in a number of major cities suitable for lodging in for a nominal fee and to provide recreational activities for writers.
10.) To extend the Union into regional branches.
11.) The president and vice president of the Union have the right to be among members appointed to the People’s Assembly and the Shura Council.
12.) To activate the Union’s private housing association, which has done nothing for its members until now, to build residential units on government-granted land.
Acquired 29 April 2011
Translated by Kristine Anderson
Translation reviewed by Thomas Levi Thompson