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Egypt’s Dar El Shorouk publishing house has denied monopoly over Naguib Mahfouz’s literary work in reaction to demands by several Egyptian intellectuals who asked the publisher to end their monopoly of the copyrights over the Nobel laureate’s works.
A statement by the board Chairman, Ibrahim Al Muallem, revealed that all works of the internationally celebrated author are available in print and electronic formats, and some as audiobooks too, in most major libraries in Egypt and Arab countries. Al Muallem said that Mahfouz’s works are also available on online bookstores like Amazon, Google Books, Vodafone Books, and many others.
Dar El Shorouk has noted that it has never denied readers accessibility to Mahfouz’s books. All his 60 works, including four for young readers are all available. The publisher said that some of Mahfouz’s books were printed 16 times, totaling 650,000 copies, and it has already released 10 audio books by Mahfouz, in the first phase of its plan to release all its books in audio formats.
In an interview with the London-based Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, novelist Egyptian Ibrahim Abdul Majeed said: “The controversy over Mahfouz’s work is a meaningless argument, simply because it has not been 50 years since his death, and hence his literary legacy is not a public property.”
He added that the only one who has the right to transfer the copyright of Mahfouz is his heirs according to the contract between Mahfouz himself and Dar El Shorouk.