Reading and Writing Behind Bars

About Episode

“Writer, criminal, and ex-journalist” Ahmed Naji released two books in 2020: the speculative fiction novel (والنمور لحجرتي) And the Tigers to My Room (2020) and the nonfiction work (حرز مكمكم) Rotten Evidence: Reading and Writing in Prison (2020).

Show Notes: 

Find more about Ahmed’s books, short stories, and essays in Arabic and in English translation at

An excerpt of Rotten Evidence appeared in The Believer in Katharine Halls’ excellent translation.

Another excerpt appeared in The Michigan Quarterly Review.

He spoke about the book in July 2019 at an event in New York City.

Read a brief history of the court case against Ahmed at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP).

Ahmed’s “Re-Writing the Future: The Tanta Museum of White History” appears in Arts of the Working Class. It too was translated by Katharine Halls.