Egyptian writer Naguib Mahfouz is the only Arab to have won the Nobel Prize for Literature. Even in translation his was a wonderful voice, as distinctive as that of all great writers from Chaucer to Twain and Wodehouse. It was allied to masterful fiction making but his themes – socialism, God, homosexuality and sexual hypocrisy – drew the wrath of the Brotherhood. In 1994, when Mahfouz was 82, an Islamist stabbed him in the neck outside his Cairo home.
He survived but was unable to write for more than a few minutes a day, and needed constant bodyguard protection until his death in 2006, aged 94. How appropriate then that in response to the deceit, crude belligerence and terrorist funding sanctimony of America’s Ambassador to the UN, one Nikki Haley, her Syrian counterpart Bashar Jaafari should draw on Mahfouz.
They are liars and they know that they are liars, and they know that we know that they are liars, even so, they keep lying in a loud voice … [drops the mike]