I have more than twenty books published in Arabic. These books cover studies of Arab and Sudanese national character/identity, artistic and literary criticism, as well as readings in human knowledge.
Ten years after finishing the manuscript, my first piece of work entitled “Between the Average Writer and Osama Anwar Okasha” was published in 2006, it is on TV drama criticism. I dealt with the issue of nationalism in several books such as “Sudanese Genes” and “Arab Genes”. I addressed literary and artistic studies in books such as “Between the Average Writer and Osama Anwar Okasha” and “From a Non-Professional Listener to Mohamed Wardi”. I tackled many other topics such as the notion of alienation as in “Tales of a Poor Expatriate”, and the complex reality of writing itself, especially in the Arab world, through my books “O Writers Be Humble” and “Damn the Novel”.
As it is detailed in this book, I believe that the way to establish the desired democracy in the Arab world is through making sure about “the eradication of the great dictator who lies within each of us being given the authority to take over our conduct in terms of the way we bring up our children and over the methods we follow when given a position or mission”.
This book deals with a range of controversial issues about writing and writers alike: Why did writers fail to make writing a profession that can guarantee them dignified (or even luxurious) life? Expecting the following answer: The reason lies in people’s desertion of books. The book investigates the literary, social and cultural arena directly related to writing, asking questions and anticipating what is going on in the recipient’s mind without imposing an answer on the readers. Rather, I incite the readers to take a different view urging for freeing writing from the boundaries of “holiness” to which writers cling launching their creative missions away from having any sort of influence on people or life. In O Writers Be Humble, I tend to tackle many issues under titles such as “What Writers Have Never Had in Mind”, “ Classic Arabic Victims”, “On the Gates of the Rich”, “Natural Selection of Writers”, “What Prevents a Writer from Resigning”, ”The Writer’s Muscles“, and others. I wanted the book to be a rebellious discovery in favor of writing and not against it. Accordingly, I dedicate the book to writing itself “confirming its virtues and pardoning its sins.”
The book deals with the impact of globalization as seen by an observer who interacts with its new waves disregarding the estimates and promises of globalization research centers all around the world, basically in the West and in the United States specifically. “Be Aware of USA”, “How Globalization is Made”, “Bedroom in the Emirates and Living-room in Canada”, “Globalization and Sex”, “Why Should We Speak Clean English?”, “Globalization’s Frustration”, “Globalization and Writers of the Masses” are some of the titles through which I approach the influence of globalization on people (at home, in the streets, at work places), on how they spend their weekends in shopping malls and on other aspects of personal and social life, especially in the Arab world. The book deals with the subject matter beyond the traditional studies written about the impact of globalization on politics, economy and other similar arenas.
This book, as stated in its introduction, is not concerned mainly with the Arab character as a whole, but rather with “that part of the character of Arabs dealt with behind the closed doors of secrecy/privacy. More precisely, the book is a deliberate reading of Arab national character and its national variants in accordance with its context”. It consists of many parts under titles such as “The Levantine and the Moroccan”, “What We Should Learn from Algeria and Egypt”, “The Hierarchy of Arab Creators”, “The Character of Iraqi People”, “How Others boast About Arabism”, “The Maghreb’s Got Talents”, “What Do We Lack to Become Masters”. In the introduction to the book, I expressed that I hope readers could enjoy reading the book “being able to get rid of the authority of prejudices and, more importantly, of any national chauvinism in regard to this country or that throughout the wider Arab world”.
The book deals with the drama of the Egyptian author Osama Anwar Okasha through exploring more than fifteen TV series by the well-known Arab screenwriter. The book highlights the most important features of Okasha’s drama, especially by comparing them to the existing TV works broadcasted in different channels. I tried to show Okasha’s unique status among Arab TV drama writers. Among the most prominent works dealt with in the book are: Al Raya Al Baida (The White Flag), Abu Al Ela 90, Al Nawwa (The Tempest), Arabesque, Layali Al Helmiyah, and Damir Abla Hikmat.
The following story sums up the theme of the whole book: “I was sitting with a teenager a few generations younger than me. I tried to melt the ice of coldness that seemed to take over our conversation while we were watching TV: What do you think of these new actors? He replied: where are these new actors? I was smart enough to realize that the “new actors” were in fact the same generation of the young man. However, I did not get the lesson since I told the young man in question about a scene from a famous comedy play and waited for him to laugh. He did not, and looked surprised in response to my emotional overload. I asked him: Don’t you remember the scene? He even did not hear about the play and did not know any of the characters whose fame has survived for long years. That was logical given the gaps existing between generations, but I was (maybe without being aware of the fact) trying to live a different time that is not mine. Furthermore, I was trying to make a younger man live my time. Both the two acts seemed to be two sides of one coin: ignoring the impact of time either through engaging oneself in the midst of young people or through dragging them to live a time they have no connections with.”