Fitzcarraldo Editions is to publish You Have Not Yet Been Defeated, a collection of Egyptian political prisoner Alaa Abd el-Fattah’s essays, interviews, and social media posts.
The book will be his first work published in English, and will be translated by a collective, with a preface by Naomi Klein.
Abd el-Fattah, a writer, technologist and political activist, is one of the most high-profile political prisoners in Egypt. He has been in prison for most of the last seven years and many of the pieces collected in You Have Not Yet Been Defeated were smuggled out of his cell.
A leading figure among the young technologists and bloggers, he rose to international prominence during the revolution of 2011. He was a central figure in the blogging movement of the early 2000s, a vanguard of free speech and radical discourse that would become one of the catalysts of the 2011 revolution. Committed to using both on-the-ground activism and online platforms to push an uncompromising political discourse, Abd el-Fattah has been prosecuted and arrested by every Egyptian regime to rule in his lifetime. After the coup d’état of 2013, he was among the principal targets of the counter-revolution and has been held in the regime’s prisons since then.
The publisher’s synopsis explains: "A fiercely independent thinker who fuses politics and technology in powerful prose, an activist whose ideas represent a global generation which has only known struggle against a failing system, a public intellectual with the rare courage to offer personal, painful honesty, Alaa Abd el-Fattah’s written voice came to symbolize much of what was fresh, inspiring and revolutionary about the uprisings that have defined the last decade. From theses on technology, to theories of history, to painful reflections on the meaning of prison, his voice in these pages – arranged by family and friends – cuts as sharply relevant, as dangerous, as ever."
Speaking ahead of the publication of You Have Not Yet Been Defeated, Mada Masr (leading liberal Egyptian newspaper) editor-in-chief Lina Attalah said: "Alaa is a philosopher of everyday life and life-long struggle; he doesn’t merely find meaning in that which we go through, especially in dark political moments, but creates meaning and gives it form in writing. And he does so from a highly entrenched and implicated place in the present. His thoughts know no frontiers; they pierce through local contexts to inspire new modes of thinking about the chaotic substance of politics."
The book will publish in the UK on 20th October 2021.
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