Cairo’s Diwan Bookstore has transformed Egypt’s literary scene

Sometimes bureaucrats were also confused. In one encounter with government censors, Wassef was summoned to the now-defunct Mogamma, a labyrinthine building of government offices that was notorious for embodying all the worst traits of Egyptian bureaucracy. It was 2004, and a book title that Diwan imported caught the attention of government censors: “The Naked Chef,” by British famous chef Jamie Oliver. Wassef, through a male lawyer, had to carefully convey to the man behind the desk that the title did not mean how it sounds.

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