Soueif at home - profile

Best-Selling Egyptian Author and Commentator 


Ahdaf Soueif is the author of the best-selling book The Map of Love (Bloomsbury 2000), shortlisted for the Booker Prize for fiction in 1999 and translated into more than 30 languages, as well as the well-loved In the Eye of the Sun and the collection of short stories, I Think of You.

Her most recent book Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed (Knopf and Bloomsbury 2014) is Ms. Soueif’s account of recent Egyptian events. It has also been published in Italian and will soon be coming out in Arabic.

Ms Soueif is also a political and cultural commentator. A collection of her essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, was published in 2004 and she writes regularly for The Guardian and  has a weekly column for Al-Shourouk newspaper in Cairo.

She has translated (from Arabic into English) Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah, (Random House and Bloomsbury 2004) and commissioned and edited Reflections on Islamic Art (BQFP: 2011)

In 2007 Ms Soueif founded Engaged Events, a UK-based charity. It organises the Palestine Festival of Literature which takes place annually in the cities of occupied Palestine and Gaza.

Ms Soueif holds a PhD in Linguistics and is a recipient of three honorary doctorates from UK universities, the Metropolis Bleu and the Constantin Cavafy Awards (2012) and the first recipient of the Mahmoud Darwish Award (2010).

She was recently named by the Guardian as “one of the 100 people with most influence on the English reading public,” and by Arabian Business as “one of the 100 most powerful women in the Arab world today.”


BASED IN: Cairo, Egypt
LANGUAGES: English and Arabic

In Egypt, an authoritarian regime holds sway again, The Guardian, October 2014
Egypt’s revolution won’t be undone: the people still have the will, The Guardian, May 2014
Egypt must learn from the mistakes of the revolution, The Guardian, January 2014