Cairo, 7 August 2011 (Middle East Online) – “Zeus has to be humble a little". This t is a phrase echoed by a character in the new novel "31" written by the Egyptian poet and novelist, Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, and published by Maktabet al-Mashareq in Cairo.
"Zeus is leading the world. He reads desires to control us. He distributes curses on those who stand against him.
He has the ability to alter the destinies of the world through his observations. I told you when I looked at the ceiling; where the air enters from the air conditioning systems; I realized they relate my apartment with the neighbour’s. Zeus sent me breeze on the wings of air, to be him. And you too could be Zeus!"
But Zeus, who monitors the world, will find himself under the microscope of the others, as well. The novel takes place in a world full of mystery, where the author does not give his characters names, they are all numbers instead.
The novel begins with chapter No. 31, and starts the countdown all the way to the final chapter, No. 1, and those numbers are listed as a parallel to the remaining days in the life of its main character, and narrator, Mr. 666, who works for a media establishment in the Gulf.
The narrative structure is based on the spinning quiet for a set of documents, letters and private papers; to build a shocking world of re-discovers the structure of Arab society, through concern for the creative person looking for salvation in an exciting adventure.
The novel "31" is simultaneously published with the release of the author's third novel "A Backyard Garden", Maktabet al-Mashareq in Cairo, while his first novel "Shamawes" had been published by Dar Al-Ain Publishing, Cairo (2007), and was translated into Korean and Persian.
The Writer has published 5 volumes of poetry, with many of his poems translated into English, Spanish, Italian, Persian, Russian and Turkish. He also has more than 60 travels written of 30 countries, and some of those travels were published in his book "Sirat Musafer' (The Tale of a Traveller), Cairo, 2008.
Ashraf aboul-Yazid writes biographies, and devotes much of his ideas for children, as well. He also started his TV program; "The Other" last year, to interview guests from all over the world, introducing their cultures to the Arab viewers. Since 2002, he lives in Kuwait as the editor of Al-Arabi magazine.