Reading is the way to live a thousand lives: Egyptian author - GulfToday

Reading is the way to live a thousand lives: Egyptian author

Ahmed Mourad 1

Egyptian author Ahmed Mourad.

Shereen Afifi

“Surprise yourself. If you do, your readers will be surprised too, “is a famous quote on writing by Ahmed Mourad, the well-known Egyptian author and screenwriter. Since 2007, Mourad has written 7 best-selling novels. Some of his works have been translated, won awards and adapted for TV series and blockbuster films.

Mourad is now in Dubai to conduct a writing workshop, The First Page, organised by Inception for Training and Development. Gulf Today had an exclusive interview with the celebrated writer.

Writing workshop in Dubai

“I’ve made many workshops before, but this is my first one in Dubai and the best one in my opinion. In terms of students’ ambitions, their brainstorming, I expect many of them will be stars in future,” remarks Mourad. Mourad sees a promising future for the cinema industry in the UAE. “In terms of festivals, shooting movies or the number of movie theatres the United Arab Emirates comes first.”


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Tips on writing

We all have stories to tell but we don’t know how to present them. We asked Mourad to give tips for those who want to start a career in writing. “I’ve made hashtag on my page called writing pins, in Arabic (Masameer AlKetaba). Here I put 30 tips for beginners to start their writing safely. The first tip is to dedicate time for writing without social media. Build your idea on a draft paper for one or two months, don’t rush. When you start writing, fix a daily quota, like I write for 5 hours so I should write 500 words per day. And the most important one is building a draft story is far more important than writing,” says the author.

Ideas of novels

Each of Mourad’s novels has a different distinctive plot and characters. Even events in each one take place in a different era. So we asked him about what inspires the ideas for his work. “I easily get bored, which makes me look for exciting ideas. For me reading is the way to live a thousand lives. So books are an important source of inspiration for me. Imagination that you have could be another source. First and second-hand experiences are also very important. So, if we put the three together, we can get a lot of ideas and inspiration,” says Mourad.

Upcoming projects for cinema

Mourad is working on the upcoming movie adaptation of his widely read novel 1919, starring Ahmed Ezz and Karim Abdelaziz. We asked him about challenges he faces in adaptations to make the movie as successful as the novel. “I really don’t think about this.

Those who read the story, they read the product “novel”.

When I go to the movie medium, that’s a different thing. I love to surprise those who read the novel more than who those who don’t. We rebuild the script in a different way than the novel. The same characters will be there and will have new characters who are not in the novel.”

After the success of the last Mummies Parade, many people became interested in the history of ancient Egyptians. Did he think of adapting your historical novel “Land of God” to the movie or drama series?  If so, what criteria should be followed in his opinion?

“I don’t mind at all as long as there is good production, this is the novel nearest to my heart. Writing about ancient Egyptians takes a lot of research and effort to know how things were at that time. Then we leave it to the imagination.

“We don’t have much reference on that period. And the international formula says that we make the present idea, then we add imagination and reinvent the history as we see it. Because even history is written by humans. So there’s no absolute truth.  The goal is to make the viewer live that era and enjoy the experience.”


Mourad is an active member on the platform “iRead” through workshops and initiatives. “(iRead) was my wife Shereen’s idea, we support the idea of reading through interaction. It should be inserted in the human ego.

“IRead Now is an established company since 2019, iRead platform is serving almost 5 million readers in the Middle East.”

“Also  I’m proud to be a partner this year in a new initiative “Wahda gedida “that empowers Arab women and encourages them to share their success stories and it is worth mentioning that a lot of the website traffic comes from the UAE  and other Arab countries.”

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