Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Dangers Of Writing About Your Boss (The Dictator)

Being the photographer for former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak must have been stressful enough for Ahmed Mourad, but he also had a hidden agenda: he was a writer in disguise, spending his evenings writing stories which portrayed Mubarak's regime in a bad light.

There is a point where writing becomes more than a dangerous living. You reach that point when you write disparaging things about your boss and your boss is a despot who controls the secret police, the military and society at-large.

Mourad still works as a government photographer and he still writes novels in his free time. Mourad told CNN that he felt driven to write about life in Egypt under the rule of Mubarak. He knew it was dangerous, but felt the risk to his life was worth the reward of bringing the truth about life in Egypt to life.

So far Mourad has written only fictional tales of Mubarak's Egypt, but he said that eventually, perhaps a decade from now, he will write a true tale of what he experienced working so closely with Mubarak. Until then he is counting his blessings for having lived to tell the tales he knows.

It never ceases to amaze me how powerful the urge to write can be. Those who take up the pen find themselves controlled by emotions so raw, so explosive that even the fear of death itself is nothing compared with the desperation they feel about getting their story out.

This is not only what makes great writers great, it's often what brings the truth to light.

"I was with Mubarak in the mornings and wrote against him in the evenings," said Mourad.
"I felt it was the most dangerous decision I made by writing about Mubarak's regime and the people around him, but I would not forgive myself if I didn't write. I decided that if anything happened to me it was God's will."
Mourad, 33, was with Mubarak throughout the revolution and the 18 days of uprising that led to his resignation in February, and could not join the protesters in Tahrir Square. "I was involved in my heart," he said.
He will not discuss the period in detail, except to say it was "horrible" to be with Mubarak at that time, but says he will write a book about it in the future.
Mubarak is currently on trial, accused of ordering the killing of protesters and corruption. He has denied the charges.


Click here to read more about Mourad.

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